By Katie Herrera
SPRINGVILLE,AL (WBRC) - The fathers at Spring Valley Baptist Church received a special Father's Day gift this year, legendary football coach Bobby Bowden. Fathers were all ears as Bowden spoke at the Sunday morning service. But Bowden was not there to talk football. He was there to talk faith. "There's more to life than life," Bowden explained, talking about life after death. Now that Bowden is retired from coaching football, he travels to churches teaching the "X"s and "O"s of Christianity. "It plays a role in life, no matter what your profession is. Mine is athletics. And just like in life, athletics has its ups and downs. And with faith, you can handle anything that comes up," said Bowden.
Bowden also touched on the importance of father figures. He said too many boys that he coached are growing up without them. Bowden joked, "When he grows up, he wants to be a man just like his momma. Why do you think he wears those earrings?"
Though Bowden drew laughter, Spring Valley Pastor Barry Britt knew it's an important message.
"It's huge to us because everybody knows Coach Bowden. Everybody wants to see him. So he will be a great example for our young men and our fathers," said Pastor Britt. "The Word of God teaches that fathers are to be the spiritual leader of the home."
Bowden has been speaking at churches since 1953. He coached football for over 50 years at colleges in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and West Virginia. Bowden grew up in East Lake and graduated from Samford University.