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Florida State legend Bobby Bowden, 90, to leave hospital after testing negative for coronavirus

Bobby Bowden seems to be taking his positive coronavirus test in stride. (Nati Harnik/AP)
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Legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden tested negative for the novel coronavirus and is scheduled to be released from a Tallahassee hospital Wednesday after he tested positive for the virus last week.

Bowden’s wife, Ann, broke the news to the Tallahassee Democrat’s Jim Henry on Tuesday.

Henry reported Oct. 5 that Bowden had learned of his positive test two days earlier after being treated for a leg infection at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The Hall of Fame coach told Henry at the time he was not experiencing any symptoms and planned to isolate at home.

“I don’t feel bad, yet,” Bowden told Henry. “I guess I can loaf around the rest of the week. I just have to keep an eye out” for symptoms.

On Oct. 6, however, a family friend told the Associated Press that the 90-year-old Bowden was “very fatigued” but had no other symptoms.

“I feel sure he’s going to be okay,” Ann Bowden said after her husband returned to the hospital for a chest X-ray and other tests. “I am very positive. I am not an alarmist. He hasn’t been getting around much at all due to his leg; it has been pretty painful.”

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Bowden, who will turn 91 on Nov. 8, retired after the 2009 season, having won national championships in 1993 and 1999 and at one point leading the Seminoles to at least 10 wins in 14 straight seasons. His 388 victories rank second among top-level college football coaches behind Penn State’s Joe Paterno.

Florida State Coach Mike Norvell — who tested positive for the coronavirus last month — said Monday that Bowden was in the team’s thoughts and that he hoped to see the former coach around the team soon.

As described last year in a South Florida Sun Sentinel story, Bowden has spent his retirement mainly out of the spotlight, giving occasional speeches and attending fundraisers.

“The good thing about being retired like I am, you don’t have to get up at a certain time,” he said. “You get up when you want. Me, when coaching, for 45 or 46 years, I’d get up at 4 a.m. So, retired, I get to sleep in. I get up at 5 a.m. And now I’m improving. I’m working on getting up at 6 a.m. That’s the next goal.”

In March, Bowden compared the pandemic’s effect on sports to World War II’s.

“I’ve never seen anything close to this in my 90 years,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “We need to figure out a way to beat this thing.”

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