Legendary coach Bobby Bowden has been diagnosed with what is being described as a "terminal medical condition, the Bowden family announced Wednesday.
"I've always tried to serve God's purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come," the family told the Tallahassee Democrat. "My wife Ann and our family have been life's greatest blessing.
"I am at peace."
The 92-year-old was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October and, though he reported no symptoms at the time, has never fully recovered from the virus. He was hospitalized for five days in June and has been under "supervised care" at his Florida home since then.
Bowden won a total of 411 games (the NCAA credits him with 377, fourth most in the organization's history) spanning across more than five decades. After playing quarterback at Howard (now known as Samford), he entered coaching at his alma mater in 1954, then landed his first head job at South Georgia State College in 1956.
From there, Bowden went back to Howard, going 31-6 over four seasons. After a 7-year run as an assistant at Florida State and West Virginia, he became WVU's head coach in 1970 and remained a head coach through his 2009 retirement.
He built Florida State from an independent with no history to speak of into a feared national power, recording a record 14 consecutive AP top-5 finishes from 1987 through 2000, including national titles in 1993 and 1999. His 1999 team was the first in college football history to go wire-to-wire as the AP's No. 1 team.
His 1992 team won the ACC championship in its first year in the league and won 11 more in the years that followed. Bowden entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, three years prior to his retirement.
Beyond football, Bowden is known for his outspoken Christian faith, his philanthropic work, and his family. He and Ann have shared 72 years of marriage, six children and 21 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.