On Saturday, Todd Bowles traded a headset for a graduation cap. The head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed a day of rookie camp to walk in the graduation ceremony for Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The team posted a video of the commencement on Twitter and congratulated their leader on earning his college degree.
Bowles, 59, is a member of the Class of 2023 after completing his Bachelor of Science in youth and community development, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He finished his coursework back in September and will be graduating 37 years after he left Temple University in 1986 to enter the pro ranks.
He played eight seasons in the NFL mostly with Washington and won Super Bowl 22. He began his coaching career in 1995 and was at the helm of the New York Jets from 2015-18 before serving as defensive coordinator for three seasons in Tampa Bay, where he was named head coach before last season.
Bowles resumed college in 2020 with the encouragement of his agent, Anthony Agnone, who is an alumnus of Mount St. Mary’s. But the desire to complete his degree was personal for Bowles.
“It was something I had promised my mother when I went to play in the NFL, and I wanted to follow through on that promise,” he said in the fall.
“Over the years, as I became a father, it became something I wanted to do in order to set a proper example for my sons as they continue on their educational paths. I have also worked pretty extensively with children through my various community projects, and I felt it was important to show them they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.”
Jalen Hurts walks to receive master’s degree from Oklahoma
Bowles wasn’t the only NFL star to walk at his graduation over the weekend.
On Friday, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts attended Oklahoma’s graduation to receive his master’s degree in human relations.
The university’s vice president and dean Dr. David Surratt shared a video of the star quarterback via Twitter showing Hurts in his cap and gown with a stole representing the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Hurts received loud applause as he posed for a picture with two leaders from the school.
Hurts received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Alabama in December 2018. He transferred to Oklahoma in 2019 for his final year of eligibility before Philadelphia picked him up in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.