Florida Sports Hall of Fame Brings Epic Event to St. Petersburg
Presented by the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, An energized crowd of nearly 1400 sports enthusiasts were on hand to view the world premiere of The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football on Jan. 8, 2017 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The event, which took place the night before the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Clemson and Alabama, was also shown live in 450 select movie theaters throughout the nation. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and its fight against childhood obesity and Type 1 juvenile diabetes.
The movie, from veteran TV and film producer John Corry, along with co-directors Rob Harvell and Brian Goodwin, is a feature-length documentary film that explores and life and times of Bobby Bowden – the legendary Florida State University football coach responsible for building one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports. He was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
Although the film chronicled the life of Bowden, it centered on the “Dynasty” years, an incredible 14-year run from 1987-2001 where the Seminoles recorded a 152-19-1 record, won two national championships, nine consecutive ACC championships and never finished lower than fifth in the final Associated Press Poll for 14 consecutive years.
Appearing in the film were many of Bowden’s former players and assistant coaches that played major roles in building the program. Former assistant coaches featured Included Jimbo Fisher, Mark Richt, Mickey Andrews, Chuck Amato and Jim Gladden; as well as players Derrick Brooks, Deion Sanders, Warrick, Dunn and Peter Warrick. Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke, who won a both national championship and a Heisman Trophy under Bowden, also appeared.
The film also included appearances by coaching legends Howard Schnellenberger, Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Mack Brown and Jimmy Johnson who spoke of their relationship with Coach Bowden and what he meant to them.
Members of the Bowden Family, including matriarch Ann Bowden and coaching sons Terry and Tommy Bowden also played prominent roles in the film, as did actor Burt Reynolds and Country Music star Kenny Chesney.
The Premiere featured several exclusive pre-movie parties, a red-carpet walk and post-event fireworks on the bay. Tampa broadcast legend Gayle Sierens served as Master of Ceremonies for the Premiere, which also featured a post-movie question and answer session with Coach Bowden and the producers.
“It was an incredible night for our Hall of Fame to be able to honor on of our own. College football fans everywhere had an opportunity to not only thank but to celebrate the life and achievements of a true football legend,” Florida Sports Hall of Fame President Barry Smith said. “Coach Bowden’s record speaks for itself but few know the story behind the story. We are honored our organization could play a role in bringing this magnificent event to our state.”