JACKSONVILLE – Urban Meyer coached against Bobby Bowden six times.
But when the Jaguars' head coach spoke of Bowden Sunday morning, it wasn't the on-field relationship he remembered as much as the off-field moments.
Bowden, the longtime Florida State University football coach who turned that program into a dynasty and who finished his career as the second-winningest coach in NCAA Division I history, died early Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida. He was 91.
"I love Bobby Bowden," Meyer Sunday said following Day 10 practice of Jaguars 2021 Training Camp. "He couldn't be more genuine of a person, him and [wife] Ann. Obviously we coached against each other, but compared to the time we spent together on those Nike trips - a dear friend and one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life.
"What a life he lived, though … 91 years of a great life."
Meyer coached the University of Florida from 2005-2010, coaching against Bowden 2005-2009 – Bowden's last five seasons at FSU. It was a previous era of the Florida-Florida State that Meyer referenced Sunday.
"Well, you think about Coach Bowden and Coach [Steve] Spurrier [at Florida] in that era … all young coaches grew up watching Coach Bowden in Tallahassee and Coach Spurrier at the Swamp, and that changed college football," Meyer said.