Skip to main content

FSU legendary coach Bobby Bowden tests positive for COVID-19, watching out for symptoms


Jim Henry   | Tallahassee Democrat
play
Show Caption

Bobby Bowden has tested positive for COVID-19.

The legendary Florida State football coach, who turns 91 next month, told the Democrat Monday morning he was diagnosed with the virus but feels fine. 

Bowden had been hospitalized at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare for nearly two weeks with leg infection following the removal of cancer spots.

Bowden was transferred to the hospital's rehab center and was released last Thursday.

Bowden was informed by his physician on Saturday that he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Bowden said he has not exhibited any symptoms such as fever, coughing and breathing issues associated with the illness. His sense of humor also remained intact.

“I don’t feel bad, yet,” Bowden said.

“I guess I can loaf around the rest of the week. I just have to keep an eye out for (symptoms).”

Bowden said he’s the only person in his household that has tested positive for the coronavirus. He also has quarantined himself at his Killearn Estates home. 

Bowden said he and family members staying at the house  – wife Ann, daughter Robin  and grandson Hunter – will be restested today.

Sue Hall, Bowden's longtime administrative assistant, encouraged the Seminole Nation to pray for Bowden.

"He's a very religious person and he believes in the power of prayer," Hall said. 

Bowden spent the weekend watching college football, including FSU's comeback victory over Jacksonville State for Mike Norvell's first win as the Seminoles' head coach.

"I am glad to see them get that win," Bowden said. 

Norvell also had previously tested positive for COVID-19, missing the FSU-Miami game two weekends ago. He returned to practice last week.

Norvell opened his weekly virtual press conference Monday to wish Bowden a speedy recovery from his COVID-19 diagnosis. Bowden spoke to the Seminoles prior to their season-opening game against Georgia Tech Sept. 12 at the program's indoor practice facility. 

"He's one of the great coaches to ever coach the game," Norvell said. "It's beyond anything I would have ever dreamed to have that relationship."

Bowden conceded 2020 hasn't been much fun for him. He has been slowed by back and hip issues that have kept him off the golf course. Bowden said his leg infection has cleared but his leg remains wrapped. 

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

Reach Jim Henry at jjhenry@tallahassee.com.

No one covers the ‘Noles like the Tallahassee Democrat. Subscribe now so you never miss a moment.