My father became a professor at Howard College which later became Samford University in Birmingham in 1957. He had known a young man who played Quarterback at Howard named Bobby Bowden. That young man came to coach at his alma mater in 1959. Coach Bowden and my father, Dr. J. Ray Allen became great friends.

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Coach would put his players in dad’s business classes because he knew dad would tutor them and make sure they made the grades to stay eligible. Coach Bowden would come to the house on Sunday afternoon to check up on his players who came for extra work. He would bring his boys with him and we would go in the back yard and play ball ourselves.

In the few years Coach Bowden was at Howard he took this team to a post season game over along the coast of Georgia and he made sure dad went along. After he left Howard he would stay in touch with dad so we are always big fans of Coach Bowden. He always had a great sense of humor and was also very kind.

When my father passed away Coach Bowden called me and expressed his sadness at the passing of dad. He told me some neat stories about some of their experiences together. I have the highest regard for Coach Bowden and really feel he was one of the great men and coaches in College football history and was blessed to have known him all those years ago.

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