TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden received a $537,000 buyout from the school’s boosters to resign.
The settlement was revealed Wednesday when the school released a copy of the agreement Bowden’s attorneys reached with the university and its boosters. The resignation takes effect Nov. 26, a day after the season finale against Florida.
Bowden — youngest son of head coach Bobby Bowden — retains his present $141,000 salary until his contract expires next August. He then will receive annual payments of $107,500 until August 2012.
The agreement, dated Nov. 14, was signed by Jeff Bowden, whose legal first name is George, and Andy Miller, president of Seminole Boosters, Inc.
Jeff Bowden had been under fire for the past several years as Florida State’s offense declined and his dad defended his performance.
But with Bobby Bowden’s contract expiring in January of 2008, it was uncertain how the university was willing to negotiate an extension while Jeff Bowden remained on staff.
“It’s just amazing,” Bobby Bowden said Wednesday. “When things go wrong the first thing they blame is the offensive coordinator. That’s kind of the game we Americans play.”
Bobby Bowden has stood by his son’s performance as offensive coordinator, despite a notable decline in scoring and yardage gained in the past half-dozen seasons.
“I am disappointed in Jeff’s decision,” the elder Bowden said in a university release. “This is a big loss to me personally. His decision is an emotional one for me.”
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In Richt’s final season, the Seminoles averaged 42.4 points and 549 yards a game on their way to a national title game against Oklahoma — totals never approached during Jeff Bowden’s six years as coordinator.
In the last three seasons, Florida State has averaged fewer than 30 points a game — for the first time since the 1981 season.
Jeff Bowden, who also coached wide receivers, also was plagued with an inconsistent quarterback during much of his tenure — starting six different players at the position in six seasons. The position is up for grabs again this year with Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee struggling.
“The decision he made today was not one that he wanted to make,” said Keith Jones, who played for the elder Bowden in the late 1970s and now serves as a color analyst on Seminoles telecasts. “To his credit, it was one he made for the benefit of the program.”
Fans have been reluctant to criticize the elder Bowden — major college football’s wins leader with 364 victories — focusing instead on his son. A Web site calling for Jeff Bowden’s removal had gathered 2,975 signatures as of Tuesday.
Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, who has received hundreds of e-mails urging that the younger Bowden be fired, had no comment on the resignation.
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