Bobby Bowden resigned under pressure Tuesday, ending a 34-year run as Florida State coach. Bowden, 80, who has been a head coach for 44 years, won 388 games — second to Joe Paterno's 393 — and two national championships. He will get a chance to add one more victory to his total when he coaches the 6-6 Seminoles in a bowl game.
A look at reaction from around the country:
Jim Lamar, Tallahassee Democrat: This is what Bowden meant when he said he wanted a simple ending, a no-frills farewell to his coaching career. He wasn't bluffing, after all. This is exactly how it was supposed to end — even if the simplicity of it all saddens us so much.
Andy Staples, SI.com: Make no mistake: Florida State just fired a legend without explaining why.
Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch: In some respects, Woody Hayes did Ohio State a favor when he went down swinging. If he hadn't been fired, Hayes might have kept on winning and gone out in a blaze of glory, but long coaching careers usually don't end that way. Too often, a legend goes out on his sword the way Bowden did when he announced his retirement.
Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel: Hard to believe that the most media-friendly coach in the history of sports never even showed up to address the media. Neither did university president T.K. Wetherell or athletic director Randy Spetman. What a surreal, strange, somber day.
Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: There are so many games and so many stories to remember about Bowden. But one story will always be at the top of his list.
Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune: One day he'll tell a grandson about the Florida State cap with an old coach's name on the bill.
Stewart Mandel, SI.com: Florida State had no choice but to hasten Bowden's departure.
Matt Hayes, Sporting News: The legend said goodbye Tuesday. The reality is, he has been gone for a while now.
David Whitley, FanHouse: Today's sidelines are dominated by colorless control freaks. They know X's and Os, but their personalities are Zzzz. Bowden was the last of the great characters, the gregarious Good Old Boy.
Mike Lopresti, USA Today: The difficult ending should not outweigh Bowden's greatness.
Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com: College football won't be the same without Bowden.
Linda Robertson, Miami Herald: Bowden could have been a preacher. He chose to be a coach.
Gary Shelton, St. Petersburg Times: As of today, Bowden gets to be everyone's favorite uncle all over again. As of today, the sniping stops, and the admiration re-emerges. As of today, everyone gets to appreciate Bowden's legacy all over again.