Bobby Bowden will always be connected to Florida State, with the field at Doak Campbell Stadium named in his honor.
But Bowden grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and his lifelong relationship with Samford — his first stop as a head coach — will continue, too.
Samford will renamed the field at F. Page Seibert Stadium as Bobby Bowden Field prior to the Bulldogs’ Sept. 25 home game against ETSU, the university announced Wednesday.
“Although Bobby Bowden is perhaps best known for his amazing coaching career, he is also known in the Samford community as a devoted family man and a person of deep Christian faith,” Samford University President Dr. Beck Taylor said. “We want to honor Coach Bowden’s exemplary character and his love for all things Samford with the naming of Bobby Bowden Field. We are proud to link our football program with his enduring legacy.”
Members of Bowden’s family, including his wife, Ann, will be on hand at the game for the dedication. The official dedication will take place at halftime of the ETSU game. A “Bobby Bowden Field” sign has been added to the front of the Bashinsky Press Tower. This marks the second time an addition to the stadium has been made in Bowden’s honor. A statue of the legendary coach was placed outside the east gate of the stadium in 2013.
“What Bobby Bowden has meant to Samford University is immeasurable,” Samford AD Martin Newton said. “He was always one of our university’s greatest ambassadors, and we are excited to be able to honor him with the naming of Bobby Bowden Field at Seibert Stadium. We are also honored that members of the Bowden family can be here for this special occasion. Their presence will make this day mean even more to our entire university.”
Bowden, who died in August at 91 of pancreatic cancer, was a Samford University (then Howard College) graduate and was a standout on the football team from 1949 to 1952. As a quarterback, he earned Little All-America honors following his senior season.
Bowden later returned to his alma mater as its head football coach from 1959-62 season, posting a 31-6 record. His .838 winning percentage is still the highest of any head coach in program history.
Portions via Samford athletics site