Legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant died 34 years ago today.

After his last game, when reporters asked Bryant what he planned on doing once he retired, his response was, “Probably croak in a week.”

It wasn’t a week, but one month later when Bryant checked into the hospital in Tuscaloosa for chest pain. The day after, Jan. 26, 1983, he died of a heart attack.

Paul W. Bryant Museum Director Ken Gaddy said the news brought Alabama to its knees that day.

“That was the end of the day,” he said. “Nothing else really happened after that, no matter what was going on. It was such a sad day for the state of Alabama, and really for the country.”

During Bryant’s 25-year tenure as the Crimson Tide’s head coach, he amassed six national championships and 13 conference championships.

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