Bobby Bowden will make his return to FSU ahead of schedule

Bobby Bowden will make his return to FSU ahead of schedule

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden (Photo: Phil Coale/AP)Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will return to a Seminoles game a couple of years ahead of schedule.

Bowden has purposely maintained distance from the program since he retired following the 2009 season, an attempt to let Jimbo Fisher build his own identity as leader of the program. Bowden had planned to stay away for at least five years, but with the Noles at 6-0 and No. 2 in the BCS standings, he feels safe speeding that up a couple of years.

“Jimbo’s got control real good, now, and has established himself,” Bowden told The Sporting News. “It’s probably time for me to get back.”

Bowden will attend Saturday’s game against N.C. State and will plant the flaming spear at midfield as part of the pregame ceremonies.

Though he still lives in Tallahassee, has been on campus to teach some classes and this summer signed a two-year, $500,000 deal with the university to assist in the school’s fundraising efforts, the last time Bowden was on the field for a Florida State game he was being carried off in his final game as the Seminoles coach. He’ll be back later in the season to serve as Homecoming grand marshal before the Syracuse game Nov. 16.

“It’s what’s right about the world,” Fisher said of Bowden’s return. “He made Florida State. He was Florida State. That’s why we have this stadium, the facilities. That’s why we have academics, that’s why we have the school. That’s why we have everything.

“It’s what’s right for Florida State and it’s great for college football. I’m extremely excited because he was my hero, too.”

Photo credit: Phil Coale, AP

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