Bear Bryant

American coach and former collegiate football player Bear Bryant. He is most recognized for being the University of Alabama’s football team’s head coach. Bryant is also regarded as the finest college football coach in history. For many others, he was a legend and a representation of strength, morality, and achievement. Bryant coached Alabama for 25 years, winning six national championships and 13 conference crowns.

Quick Facts

Full Name Paul William Bryant
Nickname Bear Bryant
Date of birth September 11, 1913
Place of Birth Moro Bottom, Arkansas
Nationality American
Ethnicity Not Known
Religion Christianity
Horoscope Virgo
Chinese Zodiac sign Ox
Food Habit Non-vegetarian
Sexual Orientation Straight
Father’s name Wilson Monroe
Mother’s name Ida Kilgore Bryant
Siblings 11
High School Tuscaloosa high school
College University of Alabama
Profession Head coach, football player
Height 6 feet 2 inches
Weight 180 pounds at the age of 13
Playing Career 1933-1935
Position End
Coaching Career 1936-1982
Retired on 1982
Hair color Brown
Eye color Blue
Married Status Married
Wife’s name Mary Harmon
Children Two
Salary Not known
Net worth 65 million dollars at the time of death
Social Media None
Died on January 26, 1983 (aged 69)
Place of Death Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Merch Bear: The Hard Life & Good Times of Alabama’s Coach Bryant (Hard Cover)
Last Update August, 2022

Bear Bryant: Net Worth

Both the American player and the head coach had illustrious careers in football. His numerous accolades and notable success contributed to his significant wealth accumulation.

Bear Bryant’s estimated net worth at the time of his passing was $65 million, according to a number of sources.

It takes extraordinary perseverance to grow up in a low-income home and eventually become wealthy. Also read about Wim Fissette

Early years and family of Bear Bryant

On September 11, 1913, Paul William “Bear” Bryant was born in Moro Bottom, Arkansas. Ida Kilgore Bryant was his mother’s name. Wilson Monroe was the same name as his father.

A family with a poor income gave birth to Bryant. Wilson, his father, was a farmer, while Ida, his mother, took care of the family.

Bryant’s father fell ill when he was still a young child. Ida, his mother, was pushed to manage the property as a result.

Bryant came from a large family. His parents had a total of 12 kids. The tenth person was him.

Paul’s mother wanted him to join the clergy. Bryant convinced his mother, nonetheless, by saying that “coaching is a lot like preaching.”

As an eighth-grader, Bryant started playing football at Fordyce High School. During his senior year, he was a member of the team that won the 1930 Arkansas state football championship, where he also played defensive end and offensive line. You may also like to read about Tata Martino

Body measurements for Bear Bryant

The American coach’s birth year was 1913. One year has passed since the outbreak of World War I. We might therefore conclude that throughout his existence, Bryant experienced a great deal of the world’s hardships and tragedies.

According to the Chinese calendar, he was born in the year of the ox. An agrarian society employs oxen as farming implements.

Bryant was born into a low-income family and grew up on a farm, so his Chinese zodiac sign was a good fit.

Additionally, the ox zodiac also has the meanings of diligence, integrity, and perseverance. Bear Bryant was the same.

Bear Bryant (Source: Wikipedia)

Throughout his life, Bryant captured the hearts of many people thanks to his sincere demeanor, tenacity, and magnetic personality.

In addition, he was a legendary character who served as an example to others.

Regarding Bryant’s physical characteristics, at the age of 13, he stood 6 feet 1 inch tall. He grew up to be an adult who stood 6 feet 4 inches tall.

Bryant was also 180 pounds when he was thirteen years old.

His additional physical characteristics are unknown.

Bryant had brown hair and blue eyes. He also doesn’t have any body carvings or tattoos.

Bear Bryant: Professional Playing

Bryant received a football scholarship in 1931 from the University of Alabama. The American player was also required to enroll in a Tuscaloosa high school so that he may complete his schooling in the upcoming autumn semester.

Bryant previously left high school without obtaining his diploma.

Similarly, Bryant played end for the Crimson Tide and was a part of Alabama’s 1934 national championship team.

Bryant played opposite the club’s excellent star, Don Hutson, as the self-described “other end” throughout his tenure there.

Later, Hudson rose to fame in the National Football League and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bryant was selected to the second team of the 1934 Southeastern Conference. He was again named to the third team in 1933 and 1935.

Similarly, Bryant played with a partially damaged leg against Tennessee in 1935.

Additionally, Bryant was selected by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1936 NFL Draft. Bear Bryant didn’t play football professionally though.

Bear Bryant is a career coaching assistant.

After earning his degree from Alabama University in 1936, Bryant was hired as a coach at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

He left, though, when Frank Thomas of the University of Alabama offered him a position as an assistant coach.

In the subsequent four years, the team had a 29-5-3 record. Bryant relocated to Vanderbilt University in 1940 to work as Sanders’ assistant.

Similarly, following the 1941 campaign, Paul was appointed head coach at the University of Arkansas.

However, shortly after Pearl Harbor was devastated, Paul declined the invitation to enlist in the US Navy. In 1942, he served as a pre-flight assistant coach for the Georgia Skycrackers.


Bryant was selected to serve as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins in 1945. In his lone season at Maryland, Bryant guided the Terrapins to a 6-2-1 record.

The president and previous football coach of Maryland University was Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd. However, conflicts between Bryant and Byrd were frequent.

The most prominent incident took place when Bryant was away, and Byrd invited a player back after Bryant had punished him for violating team rules.

After the 1945 campaign, Bryant left Maryland to take the helm at Kentucky University.


For eight years, Bryant led the University of Kentucky as its head coach. Kentucky made its debut in a bowl game in 1947.

In 1950, it also captured the Southeastern Conference’s first championship.

Both the successes were only achievable because of Bryant’s leadership.

A school-record 11-1 record was also achieved by the 1950 Kentucky Wildcats football team, who defeated Bud Wilkinson’s top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.

Bryant, however, left his position following the 1953 campaign. Despite taking Kentucky’s football team to its pinnacle, Bryant thought Adolph Rupp’s basketball team will always be the school’s top sport.

Texaco & M

In 1954, Bryant joined Texas A&M University as its head coach. He was the athletic director at Texas A&M as well.

The Aggies’ miserable 1-9 campaign in 1954 began with the infamous training camp in Junction, Texas.

After defeating the Texas Longhorns 34-21 in Austin two years later, the American coach guided the Texas A&M Aggies to the Southwest Conference championship in 1956.

John David Crow, a star running back for Bryant, took home the Heisman Trophy the next year.

Similar to the 1957 Aggies, who predicted Alabama would recruit Bryant, they were in contention for the championship until they lost to the #20 Rice Owls in Houston.


The most well-known role of Bear Bryant is that of Alabama’s head coach. Bryant spent 25 years as an Alabama head coach.

The Alabama squad won six national championships under his leadership in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979. They also took home thirteen SEC Championships.

In addition, Pat Dye, a former assistant at Bryant, led Bryant to victory over Auburn on November 28, 1981, marking his 315th victory as head coach.

Bear Bryant Memorial at the University of Alabama

At the time, no other head coach had accumulated more. The overall coaching record of Bear Bryant was 323-85-17.

Physique of Bear Bryant

Bryant smoked and drank excessively for the most of his life, and in the late 1970s, his health started to decline.

After falling due to a cardiac emergency in 1977, Bryant sought alcohol therapy, but he only stayed there for a short time before returning to drinking.

The American coach also suffered a mild stroke in 1980 that left his left side of the body weak, as well as a second cardiac incident in 1981.

Bryant also used a variety of medicines in his later years.

On a flight shortly before he passed away, he met the preacher Robert Schuller, and their lengthy conversation about religion made an impression on the coach.

Bryant felt proud of himself for keeping his mother in the dark about his drinking and smoking habits.


On January 25, 1983, Bryant visited Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa due to chest pain.

He suffered a severe heart attack while getting ready for an ECG, and a day later he passed away.

Bryant’s doctor, Dr. William Hill, expressed surprise at Bryant’s ability to lead Alabama to two national championships in what would be his final five years of life despite his failing health.

The first media outlets to disclose Bryant’s passing were Bert Bank and the NBC Radio Network.

Bear Bryant: Disputations Racism

Paul faced accusations of racism during his time at Alabama for persistently declining to sign athletes of color.

Bryant claimed that his inability to do so was due to the present social climate and the dominance of acknowledged segregationist George Wallace in Alabama.

Bryant eventually convinced the government to let him do it, though. Wilbur Jackson became the first black scholarship athlete at Alabama as a result of this recruitment. In the spring of 1970, he signed.

Retaliation Action

In 1962, Bryant filed a lawsuit against The Saturday Evening Post for publishing a report in which Furman Bisher claimed that Bryant had incited his players to use violence in a 1961 match against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

In a six-month-later magazine article titled “The Story of a College Football Rig,” Bryant and Wally Butts were charged with plotting to rig Alabama’s 1962 match in their favor.

Wally also sued Curtis Publishing Co. for libel.

The Northern District of Georgia US District Court issued a decision in Butts’ favor in August 1963. Curtis Publishing Co. did ultimately file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

In Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, Curtis Publishing was ordered to pay Butts damages in the sum of $3,060,000. (1967).

The case is important because it established the guidelines for when a news organization can be held responsible for defaming a “public person.”

Paul reached a separate, $300,000 out-of-court agreement with Curtis Publishing over his cases in January 1964.

Bear Bryant’s Honors and Accomplishments

Bear Bryant received numerous accolades and achievements throughout his lifetime. He was initiated into Kentucky’s Omicron Delta Kappa in 1949.

Bryant has won the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year award 12 times. Similar to this, Paul W. Bryant Drive was given the name in his honor on the section of 10th Street that passes through the University of Alabama campus.

Bryant also won the title of National Coach of the Year three times, in 1961, 1971, and 1973. Additionally, in Bryant’s honor, the national coach of the year award was renamed the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award.

In 1975, Denny Stadium in Alabama was changed to Bryant-Denny Stadium in his honor.

Bryant was also chosen Head Coach of the NCAA Football All-Century Team by Sports Illustrated.

It’s possible that many of you are unaware of Bryant’s 1.5 votes for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee at the disputed 1968 Democratic Convention.

The American legend’s accomplishments don’t end here.

In 1979, Bear was given the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award. Tom Landry, a member of the Awards council, gave him the Plate.

Bryant was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan in February 1983.

A memorial song to Bryant was also recorded by country musician Roger Hallmark. Charles Ghigna also created a poem in honor of Bryant.


Why was “Paul Bryant” referred to as “Bear Bryant”?

When Bryant was 13 years old, he agreed to the offer to wrestle a bear for a dollar at a fair. Even the bear nipped him in the ear during the fight.

Paul gained the nickname “Bear Bryant” following the altercation. Additionally, the moniker followed him through all of his professional endeavors.

Bear Bryant: Was He Married?

Yes, Bear Bryant, the American player and coach, was wed. Bear secretly married Mary Harmon in June 1935. Together, they had two kids.

Nine months after they got married, Mae Martin, their first child, was born. Paul Bryant Jr., their second child, was also born in 1944.