The school announced his departure via a press release Nov. 30 of last year, and most observers assumed the 80-year-old legend had been forced out. With his book "Called to Coach" hitting stores today, Bowden is telling the full side of his story. Bowden told The Sporting News then-president T.K. Wetherell reneged on an agreement that would've allowed him to coach through the 2010 season, canning him in a terse meeting after a November loss to Florida.
"First thing he says is, 'This ain't gonna be pretty.' It went downhill from there," Bowden said in an interview that will appear in the next issue of Sporting News. "Those were his first words; I couldn't believe it.
"He said, 'You have two options: One is to stay on as an ambassador coach for one more year. You can still be the coach, but we don't want you to go on the field.' I'd get paid for doing nothing. That's stealing from FSU. I said, 'That's out, forget it. What's the other option?' He said, 'We don't renew your contract.'"
Bowden won 389 games as a college coach, but 12 were vacated after the school was found to have used an ineligible player during 2006 and 2007. He won national championships in 1993 and 199 and his final tally of 377 wins ranks him second on the all-time list of college coaches, 17 behind Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who is still active.