September 26, 2021

Bucs Life

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Bobby Bowden: His impact on the NFL

2 min read

Courtesy: FSU Information Services

Fall 1991 — my first time covering college football that wasn’t the Gators. I began working at WTVY (CBS) in Dothan, Alabama — and was fortunate to have covered the Auburn Tigers & Florida State Seminoles mostly — along with some Alabama Crimson Tide games from 1991 to 1994.

About half of our broadcast signal was in the Florida panhandle, so there were lots of Seminoles fans in that part of the state. College football Media Day is normally on the Tuesday before the Saturday games. I was doing mostly News reporting for WTVY while covering Sports was something I had to get done around covering the News.

I couldn’t attend the Tuesday press conferences, so in the 3rd week of the season in 1991, I called Bobby Bowden’s office and asked his secretary if I could come down for a quick interview. She put me on hold. I waited about 20 seconds, then Bobby Bowden came on the phone and said, “How’s Dothan doing, Kevin?” At this point, I had interviewed Bobby a few times after Gators-Seminoles games. But, he didn’t know me.

He then said to me, “What time do you want to come down for the interview?” I was shocked — to say the least! I told him; I’ll be there in 2 hours. It was exactly 100 miles from my apartment in Dothan to Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.

I drove down and had a half-hour interview with Bobby 1 on 1 in his office. I told him I do sports around doing the news, so I really appreciate taking the time for me. I cannot get to those Tuesday press conferences. He told me just call and let his secretary know when I can make it down, and he’ll make some time for me for future interviews.

It took a lot to impress my News Director Jerry Vann. That impressed him getting those 1 on 1 interviews with Bobby.

As a Gator Grad, a Canes fan as a kid, and getting to cover the Noles, I’m basically a fan of all the teams inside Florida.

Bobby Bowden was a great coach but a better person. He made impacts on countless people. He was the greatest coach ever in my book.

I was fortunate to have had deep conversations with both Bobby Bowden and Gators Head Coach Steve Spurrier. Bowden, Spurrier, along with Legendary Hurricanes Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger — are the main reasons that the State of Florida is by far the best college football state in the U.S.A. Derrick Brooks learned everything from Bobby. The Hall of Famer has said countless of times how much Bobby meant to him. R.I.P. Saint Bobby!