With legendary former Florida State University (FSU) Football Coach Bobby Bowden facing a terminal battle with pancreatic cancer, members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill want to honor him with the Congressional Gold Medal.
U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., offered the proposal to honor Bowden this week.
“Coach Bobby Bowden is a leader on the field and in his community. While his grit and determination led the Seminoles to victory on many occasions, his kindness and generosity are what make him one of the most highly respected individuals in the state of Florida. Coach Bowden’s spirit is the American spirit of which we can be proud and seek to emulate in both large and small ways,” said Dunn on Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., is one of a dozen co-sponsors of Dunn‘s bill.
“Bobby Bowden has made an immeasurable impact not only on the Florida State University football program and its players, but also on his community at large,” Lawson said. “He has influenced the minds of our nation’s future leaders and instilled in them that through a quality education and hard work, there are no boundaries. Many coaches can coach, but only a small number, like Bobby Bowden, can guide their student-athletes beyond the sports arena. I am proud to support this measure to award Coach Bowden with the Congressional Gold Medal for his decades of leadership and service in the community.”
“Bobby Bowden served as head coach of the Florida State University football team from 1976 to 2009. While coaching at FSU, Bobby Bowden’s teams won two national championships (1993 and 1999) and 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Bowden posted a 316-97-4 record in his 34 years at FSU,” Dunn’s office noted. “Bobby Bowden is also widely revered for his humanitarian contributions. In 2011, he was awarded the ‘Children’s Champion Award for Leadership Development’ by the Children’s Hunger Fund, and in 2004, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ organization began presenting an annual ’The National Bobby Bowden Award’ to a football player for philanthropic work.”
“The Congressional Gold Medal seeks to honor those, individually or as a group, ‘who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.’ It is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions,” Dunn’s office added.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee this week.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.