November 10, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama fans take photos by the statue of former Alabama coach Paul Bear Bryant before their football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Bear Bryant’s centennial celebrated


The man, the myth, the legend Paul W. Bryant most famously known as The Bear would have been 100 years old today. The University of Alabama is celebrating the Bear’s Centennial by holding a ceremony at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Bryant accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama in 1931, where he played end for the Crimson Tide and went on to win his first national championship in 1934. Upon graduation, Bryant became Alabama’s line coach in 1936.

Bryant’s head coaching career started at the University of Maryland in 1945, where he posted a 6-2-1 record before accepting another job after only one season with the terrapins.

In 1946, the University of Kentucky hired Bryant has head coach, where he led the wildcats to their first SEC title, and appearances in the Orange and Cotton Bowls.

After eight seasons at Kentucky, Texas A&M University hired Bryant as head coach, alone with athletic director in 1954. During his time at Texas A&M, Bryant ended with a 25-14-2 record, a southwest conference title, and coached a Heisman trophy winner.

In 1958, Bryant returned to Tuscaloosa.

During his 25 years as head coach, Bryant won six national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979) and thirteen SEC championships.

Following his years at Alabama, Bryant ended his coaching career with an all-time record of 325-85-17.

Bryant’s centennial falls on the week of Texas A&M, and in his honor players Bryant coach from both schools will meet the Friday before the game in College Station, TX to celebrate his memory.

Alabama’s current head coach, Nick Saban, in todays teleconference speaks of the admired coach,

Per Andrew Gribble:

“I don’t think you can really kind of put words into what it really has meant and how it has affected the University of Alabama. I also think that as a coach, since I’ve been here, this is the seventh year I’ve been here, you can’t have enough respect for the number of players who come back and talk about Coach Bryant, the influence and impact that he had on their life and how he affected people in a really positive way, which is part of what we all try to do as coaches.”

Being that the stadium, a dormitory, the main street, and a museum are all named after the late coach, the University of Alabama’s campus is constant reminder of the Bear’s legacy.

 

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide