Terry Bowden preparing for Bobby Bowden's funeral: I'll be there 'as long as my mother needs me'
Terry Bowden returned to Louisiana-Monroe for practice Monday because it was important to him.
He’ll rejoin his family later this week for the same reason.
Bowden, who spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his father Bobby Bowden’s death, will leave for Tallahassee following Friday’s practice. The elder Bowden, the second-winningest coach in college football history, died Sunday surrounded by Ann, his wife of 72 years, and their six children.
Associate head coach and offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez will resume the interim head coach duties in Bowden’s absence.
“I’m going to be there as long as my mother needs me at that point,” Bowden said. “Rich will cover for me and I’m fortunate that with his experience, I’ll have one less thing on my mind with him running the program.
“I’m going to be at my mother’s side to celebrate my dad’s life and I wouldn’t miss that time to be with family.”
ULM opened fall camp with Rodriguez in charge. Bowden left the team last Thursday to spend time with his ailing father.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Bowden and his family,” Rodriguez said. “We had prepared for it. Coach Bowden had talked to us quite a bit as a staff as well as with our players, so we had a plan already in place. We’re keeping in touch with Coach Bowden. I talk to him quite a few times daily, but we’re going to keep moving.”
On Friday, Bobby Bowden will lie in honor at the Florida State Capitol Rotunda from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will then lie in repose at Florida State’s Moore Athletic Center at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The public funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Tucker Civic Center. Bowden will also lie in repose at the Reid Chapel on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham.
Funeral speakers include Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, Warrick Dunn and former Bowden assistant coaches Mickey Andrews and Mark Richt.
Sanders’ Jackson State team visits ULM for the 2021 home opener on Sept. 18.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Deion because our paths haven’t crossed directly, but I have followed him just like everybody across the world has,” Bowden said. “It’ll be a day where he and many of his teammates over the years get to tell some fun stories. If you knew my dad, he liked to have a joke and a good time.
“The difficult part has passed. The celebration is next and we’ll be there.”
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