Who is Bobby Bowden's wife? Legendary Florida State coach dead at 91, leaves behind Ann Bowden

Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden made Florida State one of college football's greatest teams


                            Who is Bobby Bowden's wife? Legendary Florida State coach dead at 91, leaves behind Ann Bowden
Bobby Bowden of the Florida State Seminoles gets a hug from his wife Ann Bowden while speaking at a press conference (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Bobby Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach who won 377 games and built Florida State into one of college football’s greatest teams, died at the age of 91. His son Terry said that his father died surrounded by family at his Killearn Estates home early Sunday morning, August 8. “It was truly peaceful,” Terry said.

Bowden announced on July 21 he had a terminal illness — pancreatic cancer. Bowden had been treated for prostate cancer more than a decade ago. “I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said at the time. “My wife, Ann, and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”

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Bobby Bowden, Head Coach for the Florida State Seminoles during the NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference college football game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on 14th October 1995 at the Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida, United States (Photo by Scott Halleran/Allsport/Getty Images)

"We've been preparing for this," Terry said last month in New Orleans. "We just think we've got some more good days ahead, and we're going to enjoy those together." Bowden said in early July, "I feel fine but I can't do much,". 

Who is Bowden’s wife Ann Bowden?

Bobby and Ann Estock got married on April 1, 1949. She was his childhood sweetheart. Bowden was 19 and Ann was 16 when they married at the home of the Justice of the Peace in Rising Fawn, Georgia. The couple celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in April. In 2020, on their 71st anniversary, the coach said, “And being with Ann for 70 years, that ain't bad.”

In a 1996 interview, Ann, dubbed the First Lady of Football, said, "He and I have been together just about every day of our lives since I was fifteen… We started going together when we were kids, and he's still a big kid, going off with his friends to play games… I joke with my friends now that I've never had an adult relationship."

"There was no divorce in either one of our families," Ann remembered in the interview. "No matter how tough things got — no matter if I locked him out of the house a couple of nights because he was spending more time with his buddies talking football than paying attention to me and the kids — we never considered divorce."

Head coach Bobby Bowden of the Florida State Seminoles and his wife Ann Bowden watch a tribute to Bobby prior to taking on the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Bowden was hospitalized in October 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19. The test reportedly came a few days after he returned to his Tallahassee, Florida, home from a long hospital stay for a leg infection. Bowden stayed in the public eye after retirement, writing a book, making speeches, and going public with his treatment for prostate cancer in 2007.

Bowden is survived by Ann, his sons Terry, Tommy, Jeff, and Steve; and daughters Robyn Hines and Ginger Madden. Tommy, Terry, and Jeff each coached at the collegiate level. Tommy was previously the head coach at Tulane and Clemson. Terry was the head coach at Salem, Samford, Auburn, North Alabama, Akron. Last December, he was hired by Louisiana-Monroe. Jeff was an assistant at FSU under his father for 13 seasons. Steve Bowden has worked most of his career in academia. Ginger is the state attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Robyn was a school teacher for many years but retired early to help her parents.

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