The Reynolds Report is your one-stop shop for Seminole football off-season news and tidbits. The Reynolds Report is aptly named after one of the greatest Seminoles of all-time, Mr. Burt Reynolds. Yes ladies and gents, the legend of the Bandit began in Tallahassee, where he carried the pigskin for the Noles and undoubtedly romanced his king’s bounty of FSU coeds.
Every Friday, in addition to FSU related news, The Reynolds Report will feature a tribute (pics, video clips, classic lines) to a classic Burt Reynolds character. (Spoiler Alert: 98% of the characters feature the iconic Burt mustache) You’re welcome.
Welcome Home, Coach Bowden
It was touched on a few days ago that legendary Seminole coach Bobby Bowden would be returning to the FSU family (although he basically is the Godfather of FSU Football) to assist the Seminole Boosters, Inc. in marketing and fundraising for the various athletic programs at Florida State. I personally think this is a great move by FSU and I am happy for Coach Bowden to be returning to the FSU program in any type of capacity. We all remember FSU catching a ton of flack for the way it handled the 2009 “retirement” of Coach Bowden, and many traditionalists in the Bowden camp felt as though he should’ve been able to step away from the program that he built – on his own terms.
I don’t want to get into that whole mess, especially on the day after the 4th of July (everyone is feeling either patriotic, hungover, still in a food coma, or all three), but let’s be honest here. Regardless of which “camp” you were in back in ’09 (old school vs. new school), everyone knew that a change had to be made in order to keep the wheels from falling completely off.
So, what did we learn? When it comes down to brass tacks, the fact still remains that Bobby Bowden IS Florida State. Now is the perfect time to embrace the man and have him back in the mix, representing FSU, and bridging the gap between Seminoles past, present and future (and not in A Christmas Carol, or even better, Scrooged-type way, either) Coach Bowden will be honored at the Oct. 26 game against NC State, and he will also return to Doak Campbell Stadium on Nov. 16 (Homecoming), when his 1993 National Championship team celebrates its 20 year anniversary.
Here is an interview Coach Bowden did with Seminoles.com discussing his relationship with Seminole Boosters, his love for Florida State and the excitement of being back working with the Seminoles. Also included is a release from Seminole Boosters Senior VP, Jerry Kutz, discussing the in-depth details of Coach Bowden’s agreement to serve as an ambassador for FSU athletics.
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“When Coach Bowden accepted FSU President Eric Barron’s invitation to come back for two home games this fall, we saw an opportunity to formulate an agreement that will allow the Boosters to take Coach Bowden to fans across the country to promote Seminole Athletics,” said Andy Miller, President of Seminole Boosters, Inc., the fundraising arm of Florida State Athletics. “Coach Bowden has always been a great ambassador for the University and will be invaluable in our efforts to fund a highly successful Athletics program.”
The multi-year agreement will begin in January, 2014, and calls for Bowden to make public appearances during the year to promote, market and raise funds for FSU Athletics in 2014 and 2015. In addition to a Personal Services Agreement, Bowden granted Seminole Boosters the right to use his name and likeness under an exclusive licensing agreement. The Boosters portion of this partnership will support Athletics.
Bowden is no stranger to personal speaking agreements with Seminole Boosters. For more than 35 years as head coach, Bowden was the featured speaker on the Spring Seminole Booster tour, which raised funds and promoted Seminole Athletics.
“I am delighted,” said FSU President Eric Barron. “Coach has always been a great friend-raiser, and it will be an emotional time for his legions of fans to see him back on Bobby Bowden Field this fall. This new agreement will allow us to bring Coach Bowden to our supporters around the country and allow them to share in this positive spirit.”
“I can’t think of a better ambassador than Bobby Bowden to serve in this very important roll,” says Allan Bense, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “I applaud Seminole Boosters for seizing the opportunity.”
Bowden will receive compensation of $250,000 per year and half of the net royalty income from licensing.
“We have looked forward to the day that Coach Bowden was ready to make appearances at Florida State events,” said Gene Ready, Chairman of the Board of Seminole Boosters. “Coach Bowden has always said that he didn’t want to come back until his successor had established himself. Now that Jimbo Fisher has won an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and the BCS Orange Bowl Championship, the time was right. Who better to promote FSU athletic programs than the man who put us on the national collegiate sports map and led us to national championships twice? It is definitely a win-win-win situation for Seminole Boosters, FSU and Coach Bowden.”
Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher said he is glad Coach Bowden is involved. “I am very excited and looking forward to having Coach Bowden coming back),” said Fisher. “I think it is a great thing for Florida State and for Coach Bowden. It is very indicative of his nature and the man he is to want to come back and help. He and I have a great relationship. He has helped with Kidz 1st and is just a great friend.”
Speaking on behalf of the Athletics Department and all former student-athletes, Senior Associate Athletics Director Monk Bonasorte is excited Bowden will be involved.
“As a former player under Coach Bowden and now a member of this athletic department, Coach’s return feels like a member of the family coming home,” said Bonasorte, who was an All American safety in 1980. “The excitement level and anticipation among our fans and our former players to be able to recognize Coach Bowden is so gratifying for someone like me who had the privilege of playing for a legend. We are thrilled he is going to continue to be an ambassador for Seminole Boosters and FSU Athletics in the coming years.”
Bowden said he’s looking forward to traveling with the Boosters again and renewing friendships he’s enjoyed for so many years.
“I am excited about being back,” Bowden said. “One of the things I missed most about Florida State was the Seminole Boosters banquets that I did. You do that for 34 years, you get real personal. You’ve been knowing them for 34 years so it will feel good to see a lot of (friends) again.
“I hope most of it is golf,” Bowden said with a wink, “but whatever it is I will be there.”
Bowden said fundraising has always been a natural fit for him as he has seen how athletics scholarships change the lives of his players and generations of family members to follow.
“I graduated from Samford University back in 1952 but I worked for Florida State University for 34 years, so, naturally it becomes my number one school,” said Bowden. “(The money raised) goes to a young man or woman who gets an education, then becomes a productive citizen with a good job, and the first thing you know they are donating (a scholarship) back because they realize what the university meant to them. I just hope I can do my part.”
By Jerry Kutz, Seminole Boosters Senior VP
Burt Reynolds Character of the Week: Paul Crewe – The Longest Yard
One of the greatest sports movies of all time, The Longest Yard (not to be confused with the 2005 Sandler remake, which wasn’t too shabby, either) is a classic tale of the inner workings of the prison football system and man’s epic struggle to survive in the big house (no, not the stadium in Ann Arbor). Side Rant: I’m not really sure why Michigan calls its stadium “The Big House.” I get that it seats like 100 million people, (Michigan fans will always have the exact number that the stadium holds, making sure that you know theirs is the biggest. Overcompensation….maybe?) and the term “big house” is synonymous with prison and hard times, but c’mon man, that place is about as intimidating as a Tuesday morning quilting class with Grandma Josephine.
Only Burt Reynolds could make an audience root for convicts to beat the hell out of prison guards on a football field. We all pretty much know the story by now. Burt stars as former all-everything quarterback Paul Crewe, who is tossed in the slammer for 18 months after a wild, drunken police chase. Crewe was kicked out of the NFL for shaving points, so he automatically gets zero respect points from the other inmates. The warden of the prison wants him to coach his semi-pro team of prison guards (not sure why every prison doesn’t do this), but Crewe refuses. After being beaten something fierce, Crewe gains respect in the yard and decides to form an all-inmate team to take on the guards. Hilarity and ass-kicking ensues. Enjoy, my friends.
Behind The Scenes Look At The Longest Yard
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The Reynolds Report - 7/5 by David Botello