Tuscaloosa celebrates what would be Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's 1 - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa celebrates what would be Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's 100th birthday

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TUSCALOOSA, AL -

Groups across Tuscaloosa celebrated what would have been "The Bear's" birthday.    

Teachers and staff at Paul W. Bryant High School want to make sure their students know who their school is named after.

 

Bryant drama teacher, Brent Jones said, “As the years have gone on just like with any generation time passes and you lose some of that. And we're trying to keep that alive.”

 

Adorned in their best Alabama gear, faculty set up an assembly for student athletes on “The Bear’s” b-day.

 

Bryant history teacher, Timothy Martin said, “Let them understand truly what the name means. What it means to set the standard. What it means to live your life so that you will be successful.”

 

Dr. Kelvin Croom who played under Bryant, spoke about the impact the coach had on his life.

 

“He taught us to have a plan in the event that things didn't go well. Sometimes you will get knocked down as you do in the game of football, but always pick yourself up,” Croom added.

    

Meanwhile at the University of Alabama, the museum named after the coach held their own celebration with a new exhibit, documentary, and book.

    

The museum director Ken Gaddy said the personal connections fans made with Bryant still keep them coming back, “People had a connection to him through his TV show. You know only a game or two was on TV back them so you had to watch the TV show to actually see the game.” 

According to the Paul W. Bryant museum, Paul Bryant tried out for football in 1926 and played in the first game he ever saw, he got the nickname "bear" when he wrestled a bear at the lyric theatre in 1927. In 1941 Bryant was on the way to Arkansas when he heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the navy and served in North Africa. In 1968 Bryant received one and a half votes for the democratic presidential nomination

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