Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Class of 1969
Birthplace: Kingsland, AR
Paul William "Bear"Bryant was born on September 11, 1913, in Kingsland, Arkansas. He earned the nickname "Bear" after he wrestled a live bear for $5.00 in Fordyce, Arkansas. He was recruited to play football at Alabama and became "the other end" across from Don Hutson. After coaching jobs at Vanderbilt, Maryland, Kentucky and Texas A&M, he returned to his alma mater in 1958. Over the next 24 years Bryant's Crimson Tide won six national championships (61-64-65-73-78-79); he was the national Coach of the Year 3 times as well as SEC Coach of the Year 8 times. In 1981 he became football's winningest coach with 315 victories. He finished his career with 323 victories. Coach Bryant died January 26, 1983.
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