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Bear Bryant

Former American football player

Paul William “Bear” Bryant
Paul William “Bear” Bryant

Bear Bryant is a former collegiate football player and American coach. His followers knew him as the coach of the University of Alabama football team.

Additionally, Bryant also has the title of the greatest college football coach in history. He served as an inspiration, a stand-in for morality, and an example of success for many others.

Beer Bryant Early Life and Family

Beer Bryant was born Paul William “Bear” Bryant on September 11, 1913, in Moro Bottom, Arkansas. His mother’s name is Ida Kilgore Bryant while his Father’s name is Wilson Monroe.

Growing up, Bryant had a low-income family. His mother cared for the family while his father Wilson worked as a farmer for a living.

After his father developed a disease while he was still a kid, his mom was forced to run the farm for their livelihood. As his parents have 12 children, they had a big family.

Paul’s mother wished for him to enter the ministry. However, Bryant persuaded his mother by claiming that “coaching is a lot like preaching.”

Bryant began playing football at Fordyce High School when he was in the eighth grade. He played offensive line and defensive end during his senior year.

Moreover, he was also a part of the team that won the 1930 Arkansas state football championship.

Body Measurements

Beer Bryant was 6 feet 1 inch tall, according to his bodily measurements. After growing up, he stood at the height of 6 feet 4 inches tall.

Bryant was also 180 pounds when he was thirteen years old. His additional physical characteristics are unknown.

Bryant had brown hair and blue eyes. He also doesn’t have anybody carvings or tattoos.

Bryant, an American coach, was born in 1913. The start of World War I was a year ago today. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Bryant experienced numerous trials and tragedies.

He was born in the year of the ox, as per the Chinese calendar. Oxen are used as farming tools in agrarian societies.

Bear Bryant: Personal Life

Bear Bryant, an American player, and the head coach was married secretly to Mary Harmon in June 1935. The couple together had two kids.

Mae Martin, the first child, was born nine months after the couple was married. Paul Bryant Jr., their second child, was also born in 1944.

Beer Bryant: Playing Career

In 1931, Beer Bryant got the award for a football scholarship from the University of Alabama. The American player also needed to enroll in a Tuscaloosa high school for the fall semester to continue his education.

Bryant dropped out of high school without receiving a diploma. The player who also played end for the Crimson Tide was a member of the Alabama squad that won the national championship in 1934.

Throughout his time there, Bryant served as the club’s excellent star’s “other end” while playing alongside Don Hutson.

Hudson later achieved success in the National Football League. He also got the honor of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bryant had the chance to join the Southeastern Conference’s second team in 1934. In 1933 and 1935, he was on the third team.

Similar to this, Bryant competed versus Tennessee in 1935 despite having a partially crippled leg.

Additionally, Brooklyn Dodgers selected Bryant in the fourth round of the 1936 NFL Draft. Bryant didn’t play football professionally though.

Coaching Career

Assistant

Bryant served as a coach at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, after graduating from Alabama University in 1936.

But when  Frank Thomas gave him the offer from the University of Alabama for the position of assistant coach, he quit.

The team’s record over the next four years was 29-5-3. To serve as Sanders’ assistant, Bryant moved to Vanderbilt University in 1940.

In a similar vein, Paul got the title of head coach at the University of Arkansas after the 1941 season.

Bear Brynat
Former American football player
Source: Google

But immediately after the devastation of Pearl Harbor, Paul turned down the offer to enlist in the American Navy. He worked as the Georgia Skycrackers’ pre-flight assistant coach in 1942.

Maryland

Bryant served as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins in 1945. Bryant guided the Terrapins to a 6-2-1 record in his lone season at Maryland

The president and previous football coach of Maryland University, Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, and Bryant often clashed
The most prominent incident took place when Bryant was away. At the time, Byrd invited a player back who Bryant punished for violating team rules.

During the 1945 campaign, the American player Bryant left Maryland to take the helm at Kentucky University.

Kentucky

Bryant served as the University of Kentucky’s head coach for eight years. In 1947, Kentucky played in its first-ever bowl game.

It also won the inaugural Southeastern Conference title in 1950. The only thing that made these accomplishments possible was Bryant’s leadership.

A victory over Bud Wilkinson’s top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl helped the 1950 Kentucky Wildcats football team conclude the season 11-1 overall.

However, Bryant resigned from his position after the 1953 election. Bryant believed that, despite leading Kentucky’s football team to its highest point, the school’s top sport would always be basketball under Adolph Rupp.

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Texas A&M

Bryant began serving as Texas A&M University’s head coach in 1954. He was also Texas A&M’s athletic director.

The disastrous training camp in Junction, Texas, marked the beginning of the Aggies’ terrible 1-9 record that year.

Two years later, the American coach led the Texas A&M Aggies to the Southwest Conference title after defeating the Texas Longhorns 34-21 in Austin.

The following year, Bryant’s star running back John David Crow won the Heisman Trophy.

Until they lost to the #20 Rice Owls in Houston, they were in the running for the championship, much like the 1957 Aggies, who predicted Alabama would sign Bryant.

Alabama

Bear Bryant is most recognized for his time as Alabama’s head coach. As the head coach of Alabama for 25 years, Bryant.

Under his direction, the Alabama squad won six national championships in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979. They won thirteen SEC Championships as well.
On November 28, 1981, Pat Dye, a former Bryant assistant, led Bryant to win over Auburn. It was his 315th overall position as head coach.

No other head coach had accumulated more at the time. Bear Bryant’s overall coaching record was 323-85-17.

Bear Bryant: Medical Condition

Throughout his life, Bryant smoked and drank excessively, which led to a decline in his health in the late 1970s.

Bryant sought alcohol therapy after falling due to a cardiac emergency in 1977. However, he only stayed there for a short time before returning to drinking.

The American coach also suffered a mild stroke in 1980 that left his left side of the body weak, as well as a second cardiac incident in 1981.

Furthermore, Bryant used a variety of medicines in his later years.

On a flight shortly before he passed away, he met the preacher Robert Schuller, with whom he had a lengthy conversation about religion that had an impression on the coach.

Bryant felt proud of himself for keeping his mother in the dark about his drinking and smoking habits.

Death

Bryant went to Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa on January 25, 1983, because he was experiencing chest trouble.

He had a major heart attack as he was getting ready for an ECG, and he passed away the next day.

Dr. William Hill, Bryant’s doctor, expressed surprise that Bryant had managed to lead Alabama to two national championships in his final five years of life despite his deteriorating health.

Bryant’s passing was originally reported by Bert Bank and the N.B.C. Radio Network.

Bear Bryant: Controversies

Racism

Paul was accused of racism during his time in Alabama for consistently turning down the chance to sign athletes of color.

Bryant asserted that the current social atmosphere and Alabama’s predominance by openly segregationist George Wallace were to blame for his failure to do so.

However, Bryant persuaded the administration to allow him to do it in the end. As a result of this recruitment, Wilbur Jackson became the first black athlete to receive a scholarship in Alabama.

He signed in the spring of 1970.

Defamation Suit

Bryant sued The Saturday Evening Post for publishing a story in which Furman Bisher alleged that He had incited his players to use violence in a 1961 game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Bryant lost the case, and The Saturday Evening Post was later sued by Bryant. He and Wally Butts were implicated in a six-month-later magazine story titled “The Story of a College Football Rig”. In which, they were accused of attempting to rig Alabama’s 1962 game in their favor.

Followingly, in a separate libel case, Wally sued Curtis Publishing Co.

In August 1963, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia rendered a judgment in Butts’ favor. In the end, Curtis Publishing Co. did submit an appeal to the Supreme Court.

In the case of Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, Curtis Publishing was required to pay Butts $3,060,000 in damages.

Because it outlines the requirements for holding a news organization accountable for defaming a “public person,” this case is significant.

In January 1964, Paul and Curtis Publishing came to a separate, $300,000 out-of-court settlement regarding his cases.

Bear Bryant: Awards and Achievements

Throughout his whole life, Bear Bryant garnered several honors and achievements. In Kentucky, he joined Omicron Delta Kappa in 1949.

Bryant got the title of the Southeastern Conference’s Coach of the Year 12 times. Similar to this, the part of 10th Street that runs through the University of Alabama campus is titled Paul W. Bryant Drive in his honor.

In 1961, 1971, and 1973, Bryant earned three times as National Coach of the Year. The national coach of the year title was also changed to the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award in Bryant’s memory.

Alabama’s Denny Stadium was renamed Bryant-Denny Stadium in his honor in 1975.

Additionally, Sports Illustrated named Bryant the Head Coach of the NCAA Football All-Century Team.

Few people are probably aware that Bryant also received 1.5 votes during the contentious 1968 Democratic Convention for the party’s presidential nominee.

The achievements of the American icon don’t stop here.

Bear received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement in 1979. He received the Plate from Tom Landry, a member of the Awards council.

In February 1983, President Ronald Reagan also presented Bryant with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Roger Hallmark, a country music performer, also recorded a song in Bryant’s honor. A poem dedicated to Bryant was also written by Charles Ghigna.

Bear Bryant: Net Worth

The American player and the head coach both had successful football careers. His substantial riches accumulated as a result of his numerous honors and outstanding success.

According to various reports, Bear Bryant had a net worth of about $65 million at the time of his death.

Being a millionaire after coming from a low-income family is a remarkable accomplishment.

Quick Facts

Full Name Paul William Bryant
Nickname Bear Bryant
Date of birth September 11, 1913
Place of Birth Moro Bottom, Arkansas
Nationality American
Ethnicity Not Known
Religion Christianity
Horoscope Virgo
Chinese Zodiac sign Ox
Food Habit Non-vegetarian
Sexual Orientation Straight
Father’s name Wilson Monroe
Mother’s name Ida Kilgore Bryant
Siblings 11
High School Tuscaloosa high school
College University of Alabama
Profession Head coach, football player
Height 6 feet 2 inches
Weight 180 pounds at the age of 13
Playing Career 1933-1935
Position End
Coaching Career 1936-1982
Retired on 1982
Hair Color Brown
Eye color Blue
Married Status Married
Wife’s name Mary Harmon
Children Two
Salary Not known
Net worth 65 million dollars at the time of death
Social Media None
Died on January 26, 1983 (aged 69)
Place of Death Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Merch Bear: The Hard Life & Good Times of Alabama’s Coach Bryant (Hard Cover)
Last Update November 2022

FAQs

Does Bear Bryant have social media?

Bear Bryant, the former head coach of the NFA, passed away on January 26, 1983. As a result, he is no longer accessible on any social network.

Why was “Paul Bryant” referred to as “Bear Bryant”?

When Bryant was 13 years old, he agreed to the offer to wrestle a bear for a dollar at a fair. Even the bear bit him in the ear during the fight.

Paul gained the nickname “Bear Bryant” following the altercation. Additionally, the moniker followed him through all of his professional endeavors.

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Written by Jami Thompson

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