By Jacob Bembry
Called To Coach
The first book I read from cover to cover in 2011 has been the book Called to Coach by Bobby Bowden. The book gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at college football during Bowden’s 40-plus years of coaching.
The book is more than a book about college football and even more than a book about Bowden. The book is about a calling from God that Bowden felt that he had to fulfill. He was called to be a coach.
The book details how Bowden shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with his players and coaches. In one chapter, Bowden writes about Pablo Lopez, an offensive lineman for the Seminoles, being murdered one fall Saturday evening when Florida State did not have a football game. He spoke at Lopez’s funeral about the faith that Pablo had found in Jesus Christ. He told his team and coaches that he knew where Pablo was and if they wanted to know how to get to Heaven also, his office door was always open. One of the people who took up his invitation was Mark Richt, an assistant coach, who is know the Georgia Bulldogs head coach. Richt invited Jesus into his heart.
One heartbreaking chapter in the book is about the deaths of his son-in-law, John Madden, and his grandson, Bowden Madden. John and Bowden had been headed home from Tallahassee on a rainy Interstate 10, when they were killed in a traffic crash. Billy Smith, a retired highway patrolman who escorted Bobby Bowden at football games and another trooper came to Bowden’s house to break the news to his daughter, Robyn, who had remained in Tallahassee with the family following a 19th birthday celebration for another son.
The book details devotionals that Bowden and team chaplain Clint Purvis shared with the FSU team over the years. It talks about how some of the players were able to change their lives during their time at FSU and even about how some of them failed to turn their lives around.
I would recommend the book to anyone, whether they are a diehard Seminole fan like me, or even a Florida Gator fan. I’m planning on reading Tim Tebow’s book when it comes out because I admire his stand as a Christian. Bowden has the same stand, so I urge everyone to buy the book, borrow the book (I would loan you mine, but I only have a copy on my Kindle) or check the book out from the library. The book is truly inspiring.
I hope and pray that one day, my calling as a writer, will inspire people to give their lives to Jesus Christ.