Paul William "Bear" Bryant
N 33° 29.103 W 086° 50.643
16S E 514487 N 3705072
Quick Description: Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant is be known for beint the longtime head football coach at the University of Alabama. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2008 1:19:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM3HXW
Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was head football coach at the University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, Texas A & M University but is best known as the long time coach of the University of Alambama Crimson Tide.
While at Alabama, Bear Bryant coached the Crimson Tide to 13-Southeastern Conference Championships and 6-National Titles, incluing back to back National Championships in 1964-65 and 1978-79. In his coaching career he compiled a record of 323–85–17, which at the time was the most of any college coach.
Following the 1982 season Coach Bryant announced his retirement. His last game was a 21-15 win over Illinois in the Liberty Bowl. During his post game press conference he was ask what he was going to do in retirement. Coach Bryant answered that he would “Probably croak in a week.” Coach Bryant died of a heart attack 28-days later. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.
Paul William Bryant was born on September 11, 1913 in Moro Bottom, Arkansas. At the age of 13 he agreed to wrestle a bear during a theater promotion, and people gave him the nickname “Bear” and it would follow him the rest of his life. He attended Fordyce (Arkansas) High School and in 1930 he help the school to the Arkansas State Football Championship.
In 1931 “Bear” Bryant entere the University of Alabam on scholarship an was a member of the Crimson Tide’s 1934 National Championship Team.
He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936 an took his first coaching job at Union Universtiy in Jackson, Tennessee, but later left that job to become an assist coach at the University of Alabama. During the next 4 years the Crimson Tide compiled a record of 29-5-3. In 1940 he left Alabama to become an assistant coach at Vanderbilt Universty in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1941, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor BearBryant joined the United States Navy and served in North Africa. He also served on the USS Uruguay when it was rammed by another vessel and ordered to be abandoned. Bryant disobeyed the order, saving the lives of his men. He was later granted an honorable discharge to train recruits and coach the North Carolina Navy Pre-Flight football team. One of the players he coached for the Navy was future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham. While in the Navy, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
In 1945 he left military service and accepted his first head coaching job at the University of Maryland. That job last only one year due to a bitter feud with the university president Harry C. “Curley” Byrd. He left the University of Mayland following the 1945 season and was named the head coach a short time later at the University of Kentucky, where he remained for 8-seasons. Under Coach Bryant’s leadership won the Southeastern Conference Championship in 1950 and went on to defeat Bud Wilkinson #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl. While at Kentucky, Coach Bryant also lead Kentucky to appearances in The Great Lakes Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl.
In 1954 Coach Bryant left Kentucky to become head coach and athletic director at Texas A&M. In 1955 Texas A&M won the Southwest Conference Championship when they defeated Texas 34-21 in Austin. In 1957 John David Crow won the Heisman Trophy. Crow is the only Heisman Trophy winner that Bryant ever coached. At the end of the 1957 season Coach Bryant left Texas A & M to become head coach at the University of Alabama.
This would be the last move Coach Bryant would ever make and where he would become known as one to the legends of college football. In 1961 he lead the Crimson Tide to an 11-0 record and defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl to claim the National Championship. In all total he would lead the Crimson Tide to six national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978 and 1979), including back to back championship in 1964-65 an 1978-79.
For 25-year Bear Bryant coached at Alabama, winning 13-Southeastern Conference Championships and 6-National Championships. His career record of 323–85–17 was at the time the most by any college coach. At the end of the 1982 season Coach Bryant announced his retirement. His final game was a 21-15 win over Illinois in the Liberty Bowl. During his post game press conference he was ask what he was going to do in retirement. Coach Bryant answered that he would “Probably croak in a week.” Coach Bryant died of a heart attack 28-days later. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.
Date of birth: 09/11/1913
Date of death: 01/26/1983
Area of notoriety: Sports
Marker Type: Headstone
Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Daily - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fee required?: No
Web site: [Web Link]
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