Bear Bryant passes away 40 years ago today

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Jack Hutchens

Forty years ago today, Jan. 26th, 1983. The University of Alabama family lost one of the greatest coaching legends in the history of College Football. Coach Paul William “Bear” Bryant passed away in Tuscaloosa at the age of 69.

Bryant passed away just one month after coaching his final game in the Liberty Bowl against Illinois. Where the Crimson Tide came out victorious, 21-15.

He finished his coaching career with a then-record 323 wins, with head coaching stints at Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas A&M.

Bryant would then return to his alma mater in 1958. Where he proceeded to coach the Crimson Tide for 25 years, winning six National Championships and 13 SEC titles.

Former Alabama standout wide receiver for Bryant, Keith Pugh, reflected on the goals Bryant expected from his team and what they did to obtain them.

“Our goal at Alabama was to win the national championship every year and that was because of Coach Bryant and his desire to be the best and he instilled that in all of us,” said Pugh. “To be the best you’ve got to do the little things well and you’ve got to be attentive to all the details and you got to be good teammates and Coach Bryant instilled that in all of us.”

Paul “Bear” Bryant will forever be remembered in Tuscaloosa, and the nation, as a legend in the college football community.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Sports