Bear Bryant - Football Players, Timeline and Family

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Bear Bryant's Personal Details

Bear Bryant served as the head coach of the University of Alabama football team for 25 years, leading them to several victories

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 11, 1913
Died onJanuary 26, 1983
NationalityAmerican
FamousUniversity Of Alabama, Sportspersons, Coaches, Football Players
City/StateArkansas
SpousesMary Harmon
Known asPaul William Bryant
Universities
  • University Of Alabama
  • University of Alabama
Notable Alumnis
  • University Of Alabama
Birth PlaceFordyce
Political IdeologyDemocratic Party
GenderMale
FatherWilliam Monroe
MotherIda Kilgore Bryant
Sun SignVirgo
Born inFordyce
Famous asFootball Player, Coache
Died at Age69

// Famous Coaches

Bear Bryant's photo

Who is Bear Bryant?

Paul William “Bear” Bryant was a college football coach who had an illustrious career as the head coach of the University of Alabama football team, a post he held for 25 long and productive years. Lauded for being the most successful coach in the history of collegiate football in the U.S., he led his team to a record 323 wins. He was as much respected for his moral strength and courage as he was for his discipline and direction that made him a strict albeit much loved coach. Bryant, dressed in his trademark black and white houndstooth hat and sports jacket, watching the teams intently from the sidelines was a frequent sight during the warm ups and the games. A passionate football player from childhood, he led his team to victory in the Arkansas state football championship during his senior year in high school. In spite of being a brilliant player, he never played professionally and chose to become a coach upon his graduation. He served as the head football coach at the University of Maryland, the University of Kentucky, and Texas A&M University before coming to the University of Alabama for his historic innings as the most successful coach American collegiate football has ever seen.

// Famous Alumni of University Of Alabama

Childhood & Early Life

Bryant was the son of Wilson Monroe, a farmer, and Ida Kilgore. He had 11 siblings of whom three died in their infancy.

He acquired the nickname ‘Bear’ after he agreed to wrestle a captive bear at a carnival when he was 13.

He attended Fordyce High School where he started playing on the school’s football team as an eighth grader.

He helped his team win the 1930 Arkansas state football championship during his senior season and earned a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama in 1931.

Since he had left Fordyce High School before graduating, he enrolled at a Tuscaloosa high school to finish his education.

In spite of having played in his school’s 1934 National Championship team and being selected by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1936 NFL Draft, he never played professionally.

Career

He became a coach at the Union University in Jackson after his graduation in 1936.

He was offered the position of an assistant coach under Frank Thomas at the University of Alabama. He held this post for four years till 1940.

During the World War II he joined the United States Navy. He reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was discharged from the Navy in 1944.

In 1945, Bryant became the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins. In his first season he led the team to a 6-2-1 record. However, he quit after a single season over a dispute with the president of the school.

He was appointed the football coach at the University of Kentucky in 1946. He coached the team for eight seasons during which he led them to victories in the Southern Conference (1950) and Sugar Bowl (1950).

He was offered the head coaching position at Texas A&M University in 1954. In spite of an inauspicious start, he led the team to victory in the Southwest Conference championship with a score of 34-21 in 1956.

During this time the football team of Alabama, his alma mater, was performing very poorly. So, he took over the team in 1958. He changed the team’s fortune upon his arrival and led them to a win over Auburn the very next year.

Alabama played in the Super Bowl in 1961 and went 11-0. They defeated Arkansas to claim the national championship. They won the Sugar Bowl again in 1963.

The team went undefeated in 1966 and beat the Nebraska team 34-7 in the Sugar Bowl.

The team’s performances over the next few years were disappointing. In an attempt to revitalize his team, he adopted the newly designed wishbone formation instead of Alabama’s old power offense.

Bringing about this change enabled him to make the latter half of 1970s a successful one for Alabama. His team defeated the No. 1 Southern California in Los Angeles in 1977 and also beat the Buckeyes in 1978 and finished the season 11-1.

Alabama beat Penn State 14-7 in 1979 to win the national championship. His team registered a 24-9 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl and ended the season with a 12-0 record.

He announced his retirement after the 1982 season.

Major Works

Bryant was Alabama’s head football coach for 25 years during which he led them to win six national titles. His all-time record as a coach was 323-85-17. He had 37 winning seasons out of his 38 seasons as a head coach.

Awards & Achievements

He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Mary Harmon in 1935 and had two children with her.

He died of a heart attack in 1983 within weeks of his retirement.

The Paul W. Bryant Museum was opened in the campus of the University of Alabama in 1988 in his honor.

Trivia

A U.S. postage stamp was issued in his honor in 1996.

// Famous Sportspersons

Bear Bryant awards

YearNameAward

Other

1961 - Paul

Bear Bryant biography timelines

  • // 1930
    He helped his team win the 1930 Arkansas state football championship during his senior season and earned a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama in 1931.
  • // 1935
    He married Mary Harmon in 1935 and had two children with her.
  • // 1936
    He became a coach at the Union University in Jackson after his graduation in 1936.
  • // 1936 To 1940
    He was offered the position of an assistant coach under Frank Thomas at the University of Alabama. He held this post for four years till 1940.
  • // 1944
    During the World War II he joined the United States Navy. He reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was discharged from the Navy in 1944.
  • // 1945
    In 1945, Bryant became the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins. In his first season he led the team to a 6-2-1 record. However, he quit after a single season over a dispute with the president of the school.
  • // 1946
    He was appointed the football coach at the University of Kentucky in 1946. He coached the team for eight seasons during which he led them to victories in the Southern Conference (1950) and Sugar Bowl (1950).
  • // 1954
    He was offered the head coaching position at Texas A&M University in 1954. In spite of an inauspicious start, he led the team to victory in the Southwest Conference championship with a score of 34-21 in 1956.
  • // 1958
    During this time the football team of Alabama, his alma mater, was performing very poorly. So, he took over the team in 1958. He changed the team’s fortune upon his arrival and led them to a win over Auburn the very next year.
  • // 1961
    Alabama played in the Super Bowl in 1961 and went 11-0. They defeated Arkansas to claim the national championship. They won the Sugar Bowl again in 1963.
  • // 1966
    The team went undefeated in 1966 and beat the Nebraska team 34-7 in the Sugar Bowl.
  • // 1977 To 1978
    Bringing about this change enabled him to make the latter half of 1970s a successful one for Alabama. His team defeated the No. 1 Southern California in Los Angeles in 1977 and also beat the Buckeyes in 1978 and finished the season 11-1.
  • // 1979
    Alabama beat Penn State 14-7 in 1979 to win the national championship. His team registered a 24-9 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl and ended the season with a 12-0 record.
  • // 1982
    He announced his retirement after the 1982 season.
  • // 1983
    He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
  • // 26th Jan 1983
    He died of a heart attack in 1983 within weeks of his retirement.

// Famous Football Players

Bear Bryant's FAQ

  • What is Bear Bryant birthday?

    Bear Bryant was born at 1913-09-11

  • When was Bear Bryant died?

    Bear Bryant was died at 1983-01-26

  • Where was Bear Bryant died?

    Bear Bryant was died in Tuscaloosa

  • Which age was Bear Bryant died?

    Bear Bryant was died at age 69

  • Where is Bear Bryant's birth place?

    Bear Bryant was born in Fordyce

  • What is Bear Bryant nationalities?

    Bear Bryant's nationalities is American

  • Who is Bear Bryant spouses?

    Bear Bryant's spouses is Mary Harmon

  • What was Bear Bryant universities?

    Bear Bryant studied at University Of Alabama, University of Alabama

  • What was Bear Bryant notable alumnis?

    Bear Bryant's notable alumnis is University Of Alabama

  • What is Bear Bryant's political ideology?

    Bear Bryant's political ideology is Democratic Party

  • Who is Bear Bryant's father?

    Bear Bryant's father is William Monroe

  • Who is Bear Bryant's mother?

    Bear Bryant's mother is Ida Kilgore Bryant

  • What is Bear Bryant's sun sign?

    Bear Bryant is Virgo

  • How famous is Bear Bryant?

    Bear Bryant is famouse as Football Player, Coache