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Bowden First To Receive Florida Medal Of Freedom

Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden is the first recipient of the Florida Medal of Freedom. Gov. Ron DeSantis also designated April 7th as "Bobby Bowden Day.”

During a ceremony at the governor’s mansion, DeSantis acknowledged Bowden’s faith-based approach to coaching and his contributions to Florida State University. Bowden’s football program helped boost the school’s profile. Bowden gave credit to his players and coaches and thanked DeSantis for the award.

"I will treasure it the rest of my life, which I don’t know how long that’ll be," the hall-of-fame football coach said to laughter. "Once you get to 90, you don’t worry about the future too much. You worry about that same day.”

Bowden also coached schools in Alabama, West Virginia and Georgia. He retired from coaching at FSU in 2009. During his more than 30 years at the school, he led the football team to two national championships, a dozen ACC championships and is among the winningest coaches of all time.

Copyright 2021 WFSU

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.