In an an exclusive interview with Matt Hayes of Sporting News, legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden, shares how FSU President T.K. Whetherell reneged on his previous agreement. Ok. Stop there. Back track almost 50 years! Yes that’s how far this story goes back. T. K. was able to attend FSU (where he eventually went on to earn his doctoral degree in education administration) under a college football scholarship…and mentor, Bobby Bowden. Yep. These two have a long history…and, according to Bowden, T.K. fired him, despite what Bowden says was a “cut in stone agreement” that he’d coach for at least one more year.
According to the interview with Sporting News, Bowden was called in to T.K.’s office the day after the loss to UF in the 2009 season. Bowden reports that he arrived at the President’s office and was told “this ain’t gonna be pretty.” It didn’t get any better from there, as he claims that he was given two options: return for one more year (something that he thought was already guaranteed) as an Ambassador Coach – earning a salary of $2,000,000 for being a head figure with no authority….or not having his contract renewed.
So, how did the coach, known for his southern hospitality and no nonsense attitude respond? He responded “I’d get paid for doing nothing. That’s stealing from FSU.” Good for you, coach!
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t end with a happy ending (other than Bobby winning his final game in the Gator Bowl, against the first team that he coached – West Virginia). In fact, Bowden claims that just days before heading to the game in Jacksonville, that he headed to the stadium (which is now named after him), and packed up his office. Instead of receiving a party or even a single good-bye, Bowden states “they gave me a suitcase.”
T.K….I have to ask what you were thinking and also think you could take a lesson from the coach, dadgummit!
Bowden’s book, “Called to Coach” was released this week.
T.K., I’d be glad to buy you a copy of the book, if you promise to read it…