View Full Version : It's time for Bobby Bowden to go, isn't it?

10-05-2009, 11:51 PM
Many would argue that it was time years ago. The question now is, will he step down this year or next year?

That question has been raised a lot over the last two weeks. Local radio and newspapers have started to call for Bowden to retire at the end of the season. Every FSU fan I have spoken to supports that. But Bowden doesn't seem to want to go. He won't say when he plans to retire.

If Jimbo isn't head coach by January 2011 the university owes him 5 million. But rumors are that Bowden is trying to raise as much to pay that off, and continue coaching.

All the coaches outside of offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher are Bowden's guys. There are credible reports that linebackers coach Chuck Amato has punched and humiliated Jimbo Fisher on numerous occasions in front of players. Not only that but tight ends coach James Coley has reportedly punched defensive ends coach Jody Allen in the face. It's a bad situation.

Amato was hired a few years ago by Bowden. He was hoping to be the next defensive coordinator when Mickey Andrews retires, but that hasn't happened. After Andrew's son died 2 years ago, it was reported that he wanted to retire, but was convinced once by Bowden and again by both Bowden and Fisher to stay. That's when the rivalry between Amato and Jimbo started. Jimbo knows the team is better off with Andrews than Amato, and Amato knows he will be gone once Jimbo takes over. Before the South Florida game, it was reported that Bowden was talking to some boosters on the phone and didn't get around to giving a pre-game speech. Jimbo tried to give that speech but Amato got in his face and said basically "how dare you, I am the associate head coach". Again, this has been mostly reported by local media (tomahawknation.com), and from people I know around the team and players. So instead of a pre-game speech, the players watch dysfunction among the coaches and go out on the field with no speech at all.

On top of all his Bowden does no coaching at all. He says "that's not the head coach's job".

As many have said "its time, enough is enough". Let Jimbo take over.

The controversy has heated up now as big time FSU alum and chairman of the board of trustees at FSU has spoken out for change.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Sunday he isn't planning on quitting anytime soon, but the chair of the university's board of trustees has seen enough of the man who transformed the program into a collegiate powerhouse."My hope is frankly that we'll go ahead, and if we have to, let the world know that this year will be the end of the Bowden era," chairman Jim Smith told the Tallahassee Democrat on Sunday. " ... I do appreciate what he's done for us, what he's done for the program, what he's done really for the state of Florida.

"I think the record will show that the Seminole Nation has been more than patient. We have been in a decline not for a year or two or three but I think we're coming up on seven or eight. I think enough is enough."

Interviewed by The Associated Press on Monday, Smith said the arrangement with Bowden as head coach and his successor, Jimbo Fisher, as offensive coordinator isn't working.

"We've got too many bosses out there," Smith said. "Jimbo is in a very, very tough situation where people assume he has a whole lot more authority than he really has. He's getting blamed for a lot of things that's just not his fault."

The Seminoles are 2-3 for the first time since Bowden's inaugural season at the school 33 years ago, and 0-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time, prompting commentary about his future.

Smith confirmed to the Democrat that Florida State president T.K. Wetherell and legal counsel Betty Steffens have been working with Fisher to finalize a contract for him as head coach."The president intends to announce we've negotiated a contract with coach Fisher," Smith said, according to the newspaper.

Fisher was deemed the head coach-in-waiting in 2007. If he does not succeed Bowden at the conclusion of the 2010 season, Florida State -- under the terms of its agreement with Fisher -- would have to pay him $5 million. FSU has begun working on the structure of a five-year pact that would settle how much Fisher is to be paid when he takes over, if not further define when, a person familiar with those discussions told ESPN's Joe Schad.It is expected that the plan, when formalized, would also give Fisher the authority to make staff decisions as early as the end of this season -- such as choosing the replacement for retiring defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.First-year head coaches at similar schools have recently earned about $2 million per season. Florida State would like to see a smooth transition from Bowden to Fisher, but there are complicating factors to the coach-in-waiting scenario, one person familiar with the situation told Schad. Bowden is still believed to be leaning toward coaching next season, the person said.

After Saturday's 28-21 loss at Boston College, two Florida newspapers, including the hometown Democrat, also said Bowden, who turns 80 on Nov. 8, should call it a career at the end of this season."The love and admiration we all have for Bobby doesn't put fans in the seats, money in the coffers or national championships in the trophy case," Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wrote.

"Bobby used to be able to do all those things, but clearly he cannot anymore."Steve Ellis, the Democrat's beat writer who frequently doubles up with opinion pieces, wrote that Florida State must make a tough decision while Bowden's apparent successor, Fisher, calls the plays for the offense."It is time," Ellis wrote in Sunday's edition.

"This should be Bowden's last season."Smith said the university's arrangement with Fisher has resulted in division among the Florida State staff, an accusation Seminoles coaches have vehemently denied.

"I know coaches are sniping at each other and that's just terrible," Smith told the AP on Monday. "There are too many mixed signals."

Bowden's 384 wins are three fewer than Penn State coach Joe Paterno, the career leader in victories among major college coaches. Bowden has a contract that gives him the option to return in 2010 -- but no later, or the school will have to pay Fisher a $5 million bonus.

With the pressure mounting on her husband, Ann Bowden told the Orlando Sentinel that Bobby has been betrayed by Smith and other boosters."I am angry," Ann Bowden told the newspaper on Monday. "I'm angry at some of our boosters that Bobby has worked for and supported, raised money for. And he's been such a top quality person, such great character and everything for this university. And for them to turn their back on him like that -- I don't care if he is 80 years old ... ."

According to the Sentinel, Bobby Bowden declined comment Monday.Bowden, known for his glib, affable personality, said Sunday that he'd make the decision on his future in conjunction with the university president when the time is right.

"We are the ones who will determine what we do and what kind of progress we make," Bowden said. "I will determine my situation. I won't let some guys' speculation tell me when to move."


Smith said the change in command should not come until after the season. “We are dependent on the goodwill and the financial resources of thousands of people to make this program work effectively,” Smith said. “And we don’t have any goodwill out there right now. … People have had it.

“The Board of Trustees, and I think, the President — we can’t ignore that. That’s a fact.”

Bowden said on Sunday he “knows in the back of his mind” when he will retire. Bowden added that it will be a decision he will make after the season, and after meeting with Wetherell.

Smith confirmed that FSU President T.K. Wetherell and legal counsel Betty Steffens have been working in recent weeks on finalizing a head coaching contract for Fisher, the offensive coordinator who was named “head coach in waiting” in 2007.

The Democrat has learned that a contract with Fisher would include a five-year term. “The President intends to announce we’ve negotiated a contract with Coach Fisher,” Smith said. The board of trustees is not involved in the matters of evaluating or approving contracts of FSU athletic staff. But Smith said that it would be accurate to say the group is encouraging Wetherell to move ahead with the Bowden succession plan, or at least a new contract for Fisher.

Wetherell announced his retirement in June, and the university is currently searching for his successor. Wetherell did not return phone calls seeking comment on Sunday. “T.K. and I have talked about this,” Smith said.

“The reason there is some sense of urgency is we’re in the middle of this presidential search and the last thing we want to do is have a brand new president … faced with having to deal with this problem. So I think that is another reason it is moving along a little bit, and a very important reason.” That contract is expected to grant Fisher the authority to replace long-time defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, who is expected to retire at season’s end, and to make other changes on the coaching staff. A deal for Fisher would also quash rumors that impact FSU’s recruiting efforts. It was one of the reasons Wetherell came up with the succession plan in December 2007.

Smith said the focus on Fisher’s head coaching contract is “driven to a great extent by some of the unfortunate comments that (Bobby’s son) Terry Bowden has made in the Alabama press that we are going to magically find $5 million to pay Jimbo Fisher off so his dad can continue to coach here. … That has hurt us in recruiting and lots of other ways. “To announce this contract I think would put an end to that kind of foolish conversation. Because we know who the head coach is going to be, and we’ve known that for two years and it’s going to be Jimbo Fisher.”

After two straight losses and a 2-3 start to the 2009 season, Fisher himself has caught some heat from fans. “They just have to deal with the reality,” Smith said. “A couple of years ago the decision was made that he would be the coach in waiting. I think that has yielded us two good recruiting years. I think if we had not done that, we would have had dismal recruiting the past two years.

“I think Jimbo Fisher is the real deal. I think he will be an excellent head coach. We made that decision a couple of years ago. I think it was a good decision there.”

Without a clear succession plan for Fisher to take over, the perception of instability in the program has cast a long shadow of uncertainty that has made Florida State an easy target on the recruiting trails and has left thousands upon thousands of Seminole fans disenchanted. The fact that Fisher has not been received as the clear voice as the top assistant coach on Bowden’s staff has “blurred lines of authority,” Smith said.

It's getting ugly, and it looks like Bowden won't be leaving happily, or on his preferred terms.

10-06-2009, 01:51 AM
It's time. It was time a few years ago.

10-06-2009, 02:47 AM
Bowden wants to be like JoePa...but he is never thought of like that. The man has done a lot but instead of just replacing him FSU should keep him on in some aspect within the athletic dept. This way he can continue to contribute just not directly in football. This would appease some of the his longtime alumni supporters. Privately I bet Bowden doesn't want to hang up coaching until he passes JoePa in wins and JoePa retires.

10-06-2009, 07:02 AM
pretty sure Bowden and Paterno are going to keep coaching till they die

there's just not really anything to do after retiring at their age. i'm pretty sure that's their thought, anyway

Mr. White
10-06-2009, 09:44 AM
Wow. Interesting read.

No wonder why they look like such a mess on the field.

Chuck Amato....punching guys, wearing Oakley Blades....sounds like a classic d-bag from a John Hughes movie.

Carr Bombed
10-06-2009, 03:00 PM
Lost some respect for Bowden with that sexiest remark he made and yeah..........it's BEEN time for him to step down.

10-06-2009, 05:36 PM

Looks like they're not going to ask him too. I know he doesn't want to but, he still has a chance to exit with some dignity.

10-06-2009, 09:13 PM

Espn is reporting that Bowden will not step down this season. They got their information from a "source". From what I am hearing, they are wrong. Bowden met with T.K Wetherall today, and is also supposed to meet with T.K. and boosters tonight. They probably already had that meeting. I don't see how ESPN could already have this information. They state that Bobby's contract runs through 2010, but that's not accurate. His contract is a 1 year contract, with an option for 1 more year.

From what I am reading/hearing Bowden has declined all offers for a retirement package that does not include Chuck Amato being hired as the defensive coordinator. The package is supposed to include monetary GIFTS. It's not like the university is trying to fire him.

I think it's difficult for media members outside of the seminole nation to understand exactly how bad this football program is. The money that used to flow into the program is gone. Nobody wants to support this failing team, except the die hard fans of FSU and Bowden. That's just not enough. Even some of those people are saying "enough".

We all respect and love Bobby Bowden. We appreciate what he has done. But you can't stick around forever if you aren't going to coach and you are going to hire "friends" that are cancers to the team.

ESPN is basically saying "we hope he isn't pushed out, because it isn't the perfect story". Its easy for them to sit back and say to keep Bowden on until he wants to go because it doesn't matter to them if he stays. They aren't fans. They don't buy tickets to FSU games to watch a dysfunctional program disintegrate in front of their eyes. They don't bleed garnet and gold, they bleed good stories.

You've got a situation where coaches are taking sides. Bowden has put a title on Amato that basically gives him more power than Jimbo Fisher, so Amato is using that title to sabotage Jimbo. Bowden is just sitting by and letting it happen because, a) he isn't confrontational and b) he obviously promised Amato the defensive coordinator job for at least 1 year.

Ever since Mark Richt left, this program has been falling. Recruiting has dipped dramatically, mostly due to the uncertainty on the staff. Amato has brought in 1 recruit since he has been here and the guy sucks. He told Bowden that he didn't want to recruit the best LB in the nation this year, Jeff Luc, because he's "too big" for the system. Jimbo is the guy that brings all the top recruits in, even on defense. Greg Reid decomitted from Florida because of Jimbo Fisher. Bert Reed decomitted from Florida because of Jimbo Fisher. Jacobbi McDaniel and Nigel Bradham (5 star recruits) came to FSU for Jimbo Fisher. We've had 3 recruits decommit over the past 3 weeks. 2 of which were "100%" commitments.

Jimbo hasn't even been allowed to chime in on who he wants. It was reported that Mushcamp was thinking about being the d-coordinator at FSU before he went to Texas because Jimbo coached with him. However, Bowden hired Amato and convinced Mickey Andrews to stay. His plan was obviously to promote Amato when he couldn't convince Mickey to stick around anymore. Bowden hired offensive line coach Rick Trickett who runs a ZBS with lighter lineman. That's not what Jimbo wanted. If you remember, Jimbo recruited big lineman at LSU. The lineman that play here are all 280-somthing pounds. We can't run inside at all. Trickett actually has done a good job of coaching, but its irrelevant because light lineman is not what Jimbo's offense entails. Jimbo has actually adapted quite well to it, but it still hurts us.

This will end badly for FSU and Bobby. He won't leave unless he is pushed out, he has made that perfectly clear, and that's just not good for the university.

When do you stop putting one man over a university? We have to give Jimbo Fisher a chance.