100th Birthday of a Legend: Remembering Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

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By Ellis Eskew

Bama fans are celebrating the centennial of the birth of Paul "Bear" Bryant, who certainly left his mark on the world of college football.

He was recognized by the houndstooth hat he wore on the sidelines.
But best known for his reputation for winning, breaking the record at the time for 323 career victories, Paul "Bear" Bryant was a legend.


And his former players remember him well.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and about him. And think of the things he taught. And things he was able to do," said former Bama player and coach Mike Dubose.

Bryant took 29 teams to bowl games and led 15 to conference championships. During the 1960s and 70s, no school won more games than the University of Alabama. But the players knew they had to work hard under the iconic coach.

"He was...statue of a man. He was 6-6, 200 and something pounds. He would tell you in a minute if you don't wanna go to school here, if you don't want to work, I'll send you back to your mama," said former player Mike Washington.

Although "Bear" Bryant was known for winning and being a strong disciplinarian, it was more than just victories on the field.

"The thing that I remember most about coach is he used the game of football to prepare you for the game of life. If it's just about winning a football game, it's too much work that goes into it. But when you look at the intangibles that the game teaches you, how to work, how to persevere, how to get along with other people, those are really the things that are important," said Dubose.

And he always knew how to set his players on the right track.

"Always have to understand, he has eyes on everything that goes on. Not just some things, because he cared about everything," said Dubose.  

Paul "Bear" Bryant was born on September 11, 1913.

 

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