Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meets with the media following his last football practice at the practice fields Tuesday in Tallahassee, Fla. Bowden, who is retiring, will coach his last game at the Gator Bowl against West Virginia on Jan. 1, 2010, in Jacksonville, Fla.AP PHOTO
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Bobby Bowden said Tuesday that while he wanted to coach another year at Florida State, “that was out” as an option.
Bowden announced his retirement Dec. 1 — a day after expressing a desire to coach in 2010 during a meeting with university officials.
“I wanted to, but that was out,” he told The Associated Press as he motored his golf cart onto Florida State’s practice field for the final time Tuesday. “I’m disappointed, but that wears off.”
Jimbo Fisher will officially become FSU’s new coach on Jan. 5.
Regardless of the unceremonial ending to his 34 years at Florida State, Bowden said he has no regrets or hard feelings.
“No regrets whatsoever with the whole picture, big picture,” the 80-year-old coach said. “I look at it for the 56 years, not what happened last year or the last four years or five years.”
After an unprecedented 14-year run of top five seasons that ended in 2000, Florida State (6-6) has lost six games in a season, three of the last four years. The Seminoles need a win Jan. 1 over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl to give Bowden a 33rd straight winning season.
“I wish I could’ve done better,” said Bowden, whose 388 wins are second all-time to Penn State’s Joe Paterno among major college coaches.
“You’re never satisfied,” Bowden later told writers waiting for him after Tuesday’s practice. “I think that’s one reason you stay in it as long as you do. I always think there’s one more chance, one more chance to have the big year.”
Besides preparing the Seminoles for their bowl date, Bowden has been cleaning out his memorabilia-filled office.
“I’m just fixing to start a new life,” Bowden said. “At my age it’s the direction I should be going. I’ve got to see what’s out there for me.
“It’s a change that comes to everybody if you’re lucky enough to live long enough,” said Bowden, who plans to focus his future efforts on young people.
And, he said he’ll be keeping an eye on the Seminoles.
“I’ll always pull for Florida State,” Bowden said.