From the Publisher
"I want to be as close as I can with a boy without destroying the coach-player relationship. I remember so well, after I played my last game, how alone I felt, and I want my boys to always feel they can come to me. And I'll say this, you can learn as much from them as you can teach them." --Paul "Bear" Bryant
"...I realized that the implications were greater than that. ...the things Paul `Bear' Bryant did, and the things he said, achieved a relevance far beyond the context he said and did them in. Beyond anything even he would have dared imagine, actually. I believe now that the length of his shadow might very well be endless. A coach for the ages, yes. But much more." --from the Introduction by John Underwood
From the Inside Flap
The great George Blanda, a football icon in his own right, once said this about Paul W. "Bear" Bryant: "When he walked into the room, you wanted to stand up and applaud." Bryant's poignant autobiography with best-selling author John Underwood tells you exactly why Blanda's assertion was shared by so many who came in contact with the legendary coach. With 323 coaching victories and a record six national championships, Bryant was undoubtedly the most successful football coach of his era. He turned around losing teams at every college for which he coached. He coached people, not players, as Bum Phillips, one of his longtime assistants, used to say. In Bear, Bryant tells how his communication with and care for his players became a coaching methodology, and how this extended well beyond the football field. Bryant's persona and accomplishments, both on and off the field, contributed equally to his status as an American icon. His own inimitable words display a frankness that is both remarkable and revealing. Experience Bear's hardscrabble youth in Moro Bottom, Arkansas, and his playing days at the University of Alabama. Learn of Bryant's greatest challenge off the field, a defamatory accusation of game-fixing from The Saturday Evening Post, which created unbelievable heartache for him and his family. The particulars of the pain they went through to combat these lies are presented here in detail and with surprising candor. All of the experiences that shaped Bear Bryant are recorded in his words--from his earliest coaching experiences and subsequent head jobs at Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas A&M to his legendary reign at his alma mater. Despite his death more than 20 years ago, Bryant's life is still profoundly relevant. This reissue of his autobiography includes a new introduction and an accompanying audio CD, Bear Bryant: Speaking from the Heart, of Bryant discussing his life in, and outside of, football.