- Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer
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Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Sunday he wanted to return to coach the Seminoles in 2010, a day after he said he needed to do some "soul searching" before deciding his immediate future.
Bowden, who turned 80 last month, said he hoped to meet with FSU President TK Wetherell sometime this week to discuss his future. Bowden, who trails only Penn State's Joe Paterno with 388 career victories, has a one-year contract that expires in January.
Bowden said he hoped to have the issue resolved by the end of the week.
"It doesn't take long to say yes or no," Bowden said. "The only thing I can say is right now, sitting right here, I would like to come back. But I've got bosses. I've got people who have to approve it."
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that FSU officials were planning to meet with Bowden and coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher as early as Monday morning. Fisher, has a contract to replace Bowden in January 2011 unless Bowden decides to retire or university officials don't renew his rolling one-year contract. If Fisher doesn't replace Bowden by January 2011, FSU's booster organization would owe Fisher $5 million.
Bowden seemed to be weighing his options after the Seminoles were routed by No. 1 Florida 37-10 on Saturday. It was FSU's sixth straight loss to the Gators and dropped its record to 6-6 overall. It is the third time in four seasons that FSU has lost six games.
"Yesterday was our worst game," Bowden said. "I think we were better [this season], but our record doesn't look any better. You'd still like to have that big year. You'd like to turn it around like [Paterno] did before stepping out."
Bowden said he would only return to the sideline next season if he was FSU's head coach, eliminating the possibility of him returning in an advisory role to Fisher next season.
"I would only want to come back as the head coach," Bowden said.
"You'd still like to get that big year," said Bowden, who dispelled speculation that he'd return only in a figurehead role. "I'd only want to come back as the head coach."
Bowden said he believes his young team is on the verge of a breakthrough season.
"If it didn't look brighter, I'd probably step out now," Bowden said.
Bowden dropped to 17-18-1 against Florida with Saturday's loss.
"We'll get up there with them one of these days," Bowden said. "Whether I'll be there or not I don't know."
Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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