If you want to talk leadership, you could get the winningest football coach in NCAA history to deliver the message. Done.
Bobby Bowden, the storied former head football coach at Florida State University and West Virginia University, will be a keynote speaker in “Developing Your Bench Strength,” a collaboration between the WVU College of Business and Economics and WVU Athletics. The three-part leadership development series benefits attendees through training by and access to standouts in the worlds of sports and business.
Bowden, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, holds the NCAA record for most career wins and bowl wins by a Division I FBS coach.
“Coach Bowden has a longstanding reputation for developing leadership,” said Oliver Luck, WVU Director of Athletics. “He has coached young men over the course of seven decades during a revered career, and has helped groom talented and well-rounded leaders. He spent part of that career here at West Virginia University, and we are elated to welcome him back.”
The leadership development series consists of sessions that run Thursday evening through Saturday evening on each of three fall weekends, and includes 18 hours of leadership training, networking receptions and dinners, and access to scheduled sporting events. The three weekends in the leadership series are Sept. 20-22, including tickets to the WVU-Maryland football game; Nov. 8-10, including a WVU-Oklahoma State game watch party at the Waterfront Place Hotel; and Dec. 6-8, including tickets to the WVU-Virginia Tech basketball game.
Bowden coached from 1954-2009, compiling a record of 377-129-4 and two national championships (1993 and 1999). He went 42-26 in six seasons at WVU from 1970-75 when he returned to Florida State, where he had previously served as an assistant coach. His teams defeated WVU twice during his tenure as coach of the Seminoles, both in Gator Bowl contests. Florida State beat the Mountaineers in 1982 and 2009, the last game he coached before his retirement.
During Bowden’s illustrious 34-year coaching career, he won 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, finished in the top five in the country in 14 straight seasons, and led the Seminoles to bowl games in 28 consecutive seasons. He remains involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and annually presents the National Bobby Bowden Award to a student-athlete for achievement on and off the field, including the student-athlete’s conduct as a faith model in the community.
Other keynote speakers will include Luck, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman Robert Nutting, WVU men’s head basketball coach Bob Huggins, and WVU business school dean Dr. Jose Sartarelli.
Other confirmed speakers during the series include acclaimed WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown WVU Rifle Team head coach and 2012 Great Britain Olympic Rifle Team member Jon Hammond Marlon LeBlanc, head coach of the WVU men’s soccer team; WVU assistant football coach Daron Roberts Jill Kramer, WVU head coach of volleyball; and Jason Butts, head coach of WVU Gymnastics.
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