Bryant, Bear

Bryant, Bear (Paul Bryant) brīˈənt [key], 1913–83, American football coach, b. Moro Bottom, Ark. The son of sharecroppers, he became a Southern culture hero through his football successes. After playing on the Rose Bowl–winning 1935 Univ. of Alabama team, he coached for 38 years at four Southern universities: Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Alabama. At Alabama (1958–82), his “Crimson Tide” teams won or shared six national championships (1961, 1964–65, 1973, 1978–79). Bryant retired with 323 wins, the record for coaches in the top-rated Division I-A until Joe Paterno surpassed it in 2001.

See biography by A. Barra (2005).

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