A man who refused to quit, University of Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant (1913-1983) was born Paul William Bryant on this day in Moro Bottom, Arkansas, the 11th of 12 children. He got his nickname as a teenager when he wrestled a bear.
"Mama wanted me to be a preacher," he explained. "I told her coachin' and preachin' were a lot alike."
His accomplishments as a coach were phenomenal. When he retired following the 1982 season, he was the winner of more games than any other coach in history, with 323 victories and led the Crimson Tide to six national titles (1961,64-65,73, 78-79).
"Coming from behind is still one of the greatest lessons, and the ability to do it is the mark of a great team," said the man who turned the Bama football program around in 1958.
A tough disciplinarian who inspired quarterbacks Joe Namath and Ken Stabler and others to greatness, Bryant celebrated the best in American character--teamwork, tenacity, and honor. He was a taskmaster, a legend, and an inspiration to all.
"When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it; learn from it; and don't repeat it," he said.
More BEAR Bryant Quotations
Quitting is never an option.