It really is nice seeing the old timers(maybe), talk about Coach Bryant. Every thread gives me a more in depth view in what was going on back then. This thread shows me that he made an excuse to stay at Bama. Doesn't seem like he wanted to be anywhere else but home. Just my honest opinion. I'm glad he did stay!
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Maryland - Curly Byrd, the president of the University of Maryland was a former Maryland head football coach himself. Overrode a couple of Bryant's personnel decisions and Bryant immediately resigned.
Kentucky - after a phenomenally successful eight year run by Kentucky standards, came to realize no matter what he did, basketball would remain the king at Kentucky. Left for Texas A&M. I was told by a member of the Board of Trustees at the time that Bryant was offered the Alabama coaching job after the 1954 football season when Red Drew was fired. Bryant declined because he would be required to retain the old staff (customary at the time).
At Texas A&M he beat Georgia in his first game and didn't win again that season, improved each year thereafter.
Alabama, accepted the head coaching job this time but only after it was agreed that he would be Athletic Director as well as head coach. Interestingly enough, Fred Sington, Sr. flew out to tender the offer and not any member of the university's administration. Also I add, when Bryant arrived in Tuscaloosa, he already had a image as being a "black hat" and cultivated it. The sweet old grandfatherly image was a product of the seventies, before that he was a lot rougher on the media than Saban ever thought of being.
Sorry for the length, just got carried away with tales of a time long gone...
I remember only the final four years of Bryant's Reign of Terror (if you were anybody else in the SEC, ha ha). The big story by then was that he "had" to retire by state law at the age of 70. Pat Dye INDISPUTABLY used this as a recruiting tool ("you don't know who might take over for Beah"). Most of my memories of the late Bryant stage were winning 300 (Kentucky in 1980), tying and passing Warner and Stagg in back-to-back games, and a decision that still puzzles me to this day: his calling time-out against USM in 1981, which allowed the Eagles time to set up and get off the game-winning FG attempt when they might not have otherwise. That decision caused more rumors about his mental capacity than anything I ever remember.
I think - and yes, it's just an opinion - I think Bryant might well have retired in 1980 if he had not been so close to the wins record. I recall reading somewhere that between the Penn State and Auburn games in 1981 (we had a week off), Bryant went to see his doctor and was told that he was not in the best health and needed to accept that he was 68 years old and consider retiring. The times Coach Bryant gave us - yes, even those of us who got in on the very end - were indeed fantastic. I personally think right now is better for two reasons: 1) I didn't get to enjoy the full run of CPB here; and 2) we got CNS coming out of the darkest period in our history, so I think you appreciate it more, knowing it isn't forever.
That said - I hope the ending of Saban's career here is much better. The 1982 season was something of a demolition derby for Tide fans. From 1971-1979, Alabama only lost SIX regular season games in NINE years. In 1982, we lost FOUR in only six weeks.
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I love these stories, Clyde Bolton did a Great book on Coach Bryant as well. I only meet him a couple of time but if there was one word to describe Coach I would use Loyal.
He loved the University & the State even when both were very wrong.
I do see a lot of Coach Bryant in Coach Saban but both are their own man.
The University of Albama has been truly blessed.
Even then, he had the girls swooning. Of course, he wasn't all that much interested in them...that's because the teachers were swooning too.
You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into.
A fact that never gets mentioned about Coach Bryant, the ladies loved Coach Bryant's rugged good looks. I worked in the billing office at International Paper Co. in Mobile in Mobile for 4 1/2 years in the mid 60's. All the women I worked with, of all ages, thought that Coach Bryant was quite the hunk.
"I'm just a simple plowhand from Arkansas, but I've learned over the years how to hold a team together, how to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team."
Sorry to post such a downer but the remembering of the '82 season and the end of it all came flooding back.
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Last edited by 1958againbear; December 26th, 2012 at 08:03 PM.