West Virginia

West Virginia brings back former coach Bobby Bowden for homecoming weekend

Former West Virginia head coach Bobby Bowden, left, with his wife Ann attend a ceremony where he was awarded the WVU Outstanding Alumni Award during halftime of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)

Former West Virginia head coach Bobby Bowden, left, with his wife Ann attend a ceremony where he was awarded the WVU Outstanding Alumni Award during halftime of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)  (The Associated Press)

Four decades after West Virginia fans nearly ran him out of town, Bobby Bowden has been welcomed back.

The 84-year-old coaching great was honored at halftime of West Virginia's game with Kansas on Saturday. He and wife Ann also were marshals of the school's homecoming parade Friday.

It was Bowden's first trip to Milan Puskar Stadium, which opened in 1980.

Bowden was with the Mountaineers for 10 seasons, including six as head coach. He left after the 1975 season for a long career at Florida State.

He went 42-26 at West Virginia and took the Mountaineers to two bowl games — a feat no previous coach at the school had accomplished.

But Bowden endured constant criticism for his game decisions. Fans especially wanted him gone in the 1974 season when he went 4-7.

Bowden says being honored in Morgantown "means a whole lot to me."