Six 6'6" Bear Bryant Alabama legend won all six national championships with the Tide: 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979. The only other men to do so are William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Frank LLewellyn "Pete" Rose, and Barry Switzer.
Bryant's record was later broken by Joe Paterno with further matches being played in both coaches taking part in games during the same season. Bryant and Paterno both died in 2012; they were both aged 85.
The winning percentage of.818 is the highest of any coach in the history of college football. It is also the highest of any active coach. John Gagliardi of Dordt College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has a winning percentage of.812.
Bryant led the Tide to a record of 59-10-1 during his six seasons at Alabama. His overall record was 80-12-1.
After leaving Alabama for Texas A&M, where he coached from 1945 to 1962, Bryant led the Aggies to a record of 86-20-3.
Bear Bryant, who was he? Bear Bryant began his football career at the University of Alabama. After successful coaching stints at Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas A&M, he won six national titles with Alabama over a 25-year span, retiring in 1982 with a record 323 victories. He is one of only four coaches to have their teams win championships in both the College Football Playoff and the Bowl Coalition/Playoff.
Bryant took over as head coach at Texas A&M after serving as an assistant under Gene Stallings from 1956 to 1958. During that time, the Aggies went 8-3-1. In his first season, Bryant led the team to a 6-4 record before being fired. He returned to Tuscaloosa for two more seasons, leading the Crimson Tide to a 9-2 record in 1959 and a Southern Conference title. In ten years at Texas A&M, Bryant went 44-12-1.
In 1964, Texas A&M joined the Big Eight Conference. That same year, Alabama also joined the conference and they were placed in the Eastern Division. Because of this, many people think that makes them co-national champions because neither team was allowed to play any other members of their division during the regular season.
.808 Since his debut season, his clubs have averaged 12.3 victories. In comparison, Bryant finished 232-46-9 (.808 winning %) with six titles in 25 years as coach, three of which came in his first ten years. He remained the Crimson Tide's coach until he was 68 years old. His.808 winning percentage is third all time behind Nick Saban (.844 ) and Louis Brownlow (.821 ).
Bryant won 92% of his games during his first nine seasons at Alabama. After that, his winning percentage dropped to 77%. During his final two seasons, Bryant led the Crimson Tide to undefeated regular seasons before they lost in the SEC Championship Game. The following year, Alabama went on to win the national title.
Bryant died of heart disease on January 26, 1983, at the age of 69 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Bear Bryant earned his nickname because of his leadership skills and influence over players. He also had a strong presence around town due to his 6' 2", 220-pound frame. Players said he could get under your skin with just one look from those big brown eyes of his.
During Bryant's tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide football program established itself as one of the most successful programs in college football. Under his guidance, the team went 92-12-5 and made four appearances in the Sugar Bowl.
Twenty-five years Bryant coached at Alabama for 25 years, earning six national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979) as well as thirteen SEC Championships. His overall record was 270-70-12.
Bryant died of cardiac arrest on April 26, 1983, in Tuscaloosa at the age of 61. He is still considered one of the most successful football coaches in NCAA history with a winning percentage of.818.
After his death, Coach Bryant's son, Jimmy, took over as head coach but only lasted two more seasons before being fired by the school. Then another of Bryant's sons, James "Jimmy V" who also went to Alabama, became the new head coach and led the team to its first undefeated regular season in 1992 before losing in the SEC Championship Game to Florida.
Under Jimmy V, Alabama continued to produce high-quality players and had three more winning seasons before Jeff Jagernott was hired in 1996. In his first season, he took the team to its first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game when they defeated Florida State in the 2000 Sugar Bowl. The following year, Alabama lost to USC in the 2001 National Championship Game.