Bobby Bowden isn't so 'Santa Claus' now

Tonight, during halftime of the Fiesta Bowl, you'll see Marcus Allen, Bobby Bowden, Owen Wilson, Urban Meyer and others in a charity football game to honor the military. Courtesy of Ketchum Communications

Even though he's lost about 20 pounds, legendary football coach Bobby Bowden is throwing caution to the wind this holiday season.

"I've really tried to watch my weight since I retired. And I've kept pretty active, playing a lot of golf," said Bowden, who won more than 300 games at Florida State from 1976-2009. "I'll go through periods breaking training all together."

Like this week?

"You got that part right," he said. "I'll be eating anything I can find!"

Bowden has tried to maintain his weight of around 175 pounds these days, mostly to counter his Type 2 diabetes. It's been tough.

"That's because I love sweets," Bowden said. "I've tried cutting down on them and also a lot of starches."

Bowden has been balancing exercising and traveling for speaking engagements and charity work. He just recently returned from California, coaching a charity flag football game honoring the military. He coached opposite Urban Meyer in a game that will be televised at halftime of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Jan. 3.

Today, Bowden and his wife, Ann, will welcome his oldest daughter's family, which is arriving for Christmas. That's a far cry from when all the Bowdens -- six children, 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren -- get together.

Then, later this week, Bowden will get back to exercising and watching what he eats. His reasoning is pretty simple:

"I'm 83. I ain't anxious to pass away any time soon."