Bowden to do some 'soul searching'

Updated: November 29, 2009, 1:42 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- For the first time in his 34 seasons at Florida State as coach, Bobby Bowden seemed unsure if he wanted to continue his remarkable coaching career any longer.

Only minutes after the Seminoles were demolished by No. 1 Florida for the second straight season, losing 37-10 in Bowden's final trip to the Swamp, Bowden didn't sound like he'd be coaching at FSU again in 2010.

"I want to coach next year, but let me say I need to go home and do some soul searching," Bowden said.

However, a source close to Bowden said Sunday that the coach planned to return in 2010 after sleeping on his decision.

Over the last four seasons, as criticism surrounding Bowden mounted as his teams lost more and more games, he was adamant he would leave the program he built on his own terms in the end.

A source close the situation told ESPN.com that Bowden, who turned 80 last month, might not be given much time to consider his future. FSU officials are expected to meet with Bowden and coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher on Monday, and an announcement regarding Bowden's fate could be announced as early as Monday or Tuesday, according to the source.

Fisher is slated to replace Bowden in January 2011 unless the 80-year-old Bowden decides to retire or university officials don't renew his rolling one-year contract. After Florida State finished 6-6 and lost six games for the third time in the past four seasons, Bowden seems to be weighing his options.

"I've got to see how I absorb the game," Bowden told ESPN.com afterward. "I need to run the game through my mind a few times. I want to coach, but I've got to think about it."

Bowden, who trails only Penn State's Joe Paterno with 388 career victories, has a one-year contract that expires in January. Fisher, who was named Bowden's successor prior to the 2008 season, will become FSU's new coach by January 2011, or FSU's booster organization will owe him $5 million.

Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

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