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'We’ve prepared for this as a family': Terry Bowden discusses father Bobby Bowden's terminal illness

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NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana-Monroe football coach Terry Bowden talked to his Hall of Fame father, legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, on Thursday morning prior to Sun Belt Football Media Day.

The younger Bowden is hopeful those talks will continue for a good while.

The Bowden family announced Wednesday that Bobby, 91, has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. The family said he remains upbeat and optimistic while asking for prayers and privacy.

“He’s tired but he’s in good spirits,” Terry Bowden told the News-Star. “When you have a public announcement, it hits you right in the face but my dad is very secure in his faith. He’s prepared for this all his life and prepared well.”

Terry Bowden confirmed his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to an ESPN report.

"We've been preparing for this," Terry Bowden said in the ESPN report. "We know when you have pancreatic cancer, which is what the disease is, you're probably talking months, not years, so we know that. We just think we've got some more good days ahead, and we're going to enjoy those together."

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Bobby Bowden’s health has declined since he tested positive for COVID-19 in October. He was hospitalized for five days in June and has struggled to regain his strength. Bowden is under supervised care at his home in Tallahassee, Florida.

“We thought we were going to lose him to COVID because he had all these pre-existing illnesses,” Terry Bowden said. “We began to think as a family we have to start preparing for what is inevitable for all people that one day they pass.

“You’re never quite ready when you find this stuff out but we’ve prepared for this as a family.”

Bowden coached Florida State from 1976-2009, transforming the Seminoles into a national powerhouse. His record of 304-97-4 in 34 seasons included two national titles and 12 ACC championships. Prior to Florida State, Bowden was the coach at West Virginia (1970-75) and Howard College (1959-62), which is now Samford.

Bobby joined wife Ann and older son Tommy, the former Clemson coach, in Monroe for Terry’s formal introduction as ULM coach in January.

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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Bobby Bowden illness: Terry Bowden says family 'prepared for this'