Dec. 6, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State has accepted an invitation from the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl to meet West Virginia on Jan. 1, 2010 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in what will be the final game of Seminole coach Bobby Bowden’s historic career.
“It excites me to know that we’re going to the Gator Bowl,” said Bowden, who has won 388 games over the course of his 44 season as a head coach, including the last 34 at Florida State. “The first bowl I was associated with was as an assistant coach at Florida State in 1964 when we played Oklahoma in the Gator Bowl (Jan. 2, 1965).
“And of course the first bowl in our 28-bowl streak was against West Virginia in the (1982) Gator Bowl.”
The Seminoles (6-6 are making their nation-leading 28th consecutive bowl appearance under Bowden, who has guided the program to 31 bowl appearances in 34 season. The is the 21st time Florida State will play on New Year’s Day, or later, under his guidance.
“It excites me that we’re going to play West Virginia, we I coached for 10 years; six as the head coach,” Bowden said of the 17th-ranked Mountaineers (9-3) out of the Big East Conference. “I’ve seen West Virginia play two or three times this season and I’m very impressed with them.”
Bowden and the Seminoles are no strangers to the Gator Bowl. Florida State is 5-0-1 all-time in the game – 4-0 under Bowden – including wins over West Virginia at the conclusion of the 1982 (31-12) and 2004 (30-18) seasons.
“We are extremely excited to go back to Jacksonville,” said Florida State director of athletics Randy Spetman. “They’ve been great partners with Florida State. It is also a wonderful opportunity for coach Bowden to have his final game in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia and it gives our fans the chance to be there for this historic event.”
Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett could not agree more.
“I don’t think that there are many icons left in the sporting world and obviously Bobby Bowden ranks right up there, above being one of the greatest coaches of all time,” Catlett said. “To have an opportunity to give him a farewell party with 80,000 people watching is something the Gator Bowl will be very proud of.”
Tickets are currently available at www.seminoles.com for current year members of Seminole Boosters and football season ticket holders. Phone order will be accepted beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m. by calling 888-6653. The priority order period for boosters and season ticket holders will take place through Thursday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Because of the expected high demand, orders during the priority period will be “request only” as ticket limits may be imposed based on availability.