Dec. 1, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will end his 44-year coaching career after the Seminoles play in a bowl game.

Bowden will retire as the second winningest coach in major-college football behind Penn State's Joe Paterno. The 80-year-old Bowden has won 388 games in his career at Samford, West Virginia and Florida State, where he spent the last 34 seasons.

"We've got one more game and I look forward to enjoying these next few weeks as the head football coach," Bowden said Tuesday in a statement released by the school.

Florida State's bowl game has not been determined. The are bowl eligible with a 6-6 record.

Bowden won two national titles with Florida State, in 1993 and 1999. Among his top achievements was a string of 14 straight seasons ending in 2000 when the Seminoles won at least 10 games and finished ranked in the top five of the AP poll. Florida State was 152-19-1, an .864 winning percentage, during that span.

"He set records of achievement on the field that will probably never be equaled," university president T.K. Wetherell said. "Bobby Bowden in many ways became the face of Florida State. It was his sterling personality and character that personified this university."

FSU officials announced after the 2007 season that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher would succeed Bowden.

The end of the Bowden era has been brewing for years, and the call for change only grew louder this year, when loss after loss, many coming in the final minutes, began piling up. The regular season ended with a sixth straight loss to bitter rival Florida, a 37-10 blowout.

Bowden is a football lifer, who modeled his career after his idol Paul "Bear" Bryant, the legendary Alabama coach who died shortly after he retired in 1982.

"After you retire, there's only one big event left," Bowden has said over the years. "And I ain't ready for that."