Bear's Boys: Thirty-Six Men Whose Lives Were Changed by Coach Paul Bryant


Bear's Boys is a collection of inspiring stories featuring 36 men whose lives were altered by their encounter with the legendary coach while they were players and coaches at Alabama. The stories of star players such as Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Marty Lyons, Bob Baumhower, Ozzie Newsome, and Gene Stallings show how the Coach forever changed them as young men and ball players on the field and later in life after football.

When Bob Baumhower was released from the Dolphins in 1986, ...

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Bear's Boys: Thirty-Six Men Whose Lives Were Changed by Coach Paul Bryant

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Bear's Boys is a collection of inspiring stories featuring 36 men whose lives were altered by their encounter with the legendary coach while they were players and coaches at Alabama. The stories of star players such as Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Marty Lyons, Bob Baumhower, Ozzie Newsome, and Gene Stallings show how the Coach forever changed them as young men and ball players on the field and later in life after football.

When Bob Baumhower was released from the Dolphins in 1986, he immediately did what Coach Bryant would have done: he made a plan. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he snapped into practical mode. First, he sold his boat and his big house. Then, he systematically began exploring business opportunities and setting goals for the next several decades of his life. When he started his first restaurant, he knew he had yet another chance to apply the principles he learned on the football field in real life. "Coach Bryant said there's a lot of blood, sweat and guts between dreams and success," Baumhower said. "That's true in the restaurant business. . . . Today, every success I have, every win that I have, in my opinion, came from the fact that Coach Bryant cared enough to talk to me and turn the light on for me

Includes stories for such men as

Bob Baumhower
Jeremiah Castille
Paul Crane
Sylvester Croom
John Hannah
Dennis Homan
Scott Hunter
Lee Roy Jordan
E. J. Junior
Woodrow Lowe
Gaylon McCollough
Don McNeal
Mal Moore
Joe Namath
Billy Neighbors
Ozzie Newsome
Ray Perkins
Gary Rutledge
Howard Schnellenberger
Ken Stabler
Gene Stallings
Dwight Stephenson
Richard Todd
Pat Trammell
Tommy Wilcox

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641950902
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/21/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Eli Gold has been The Voice of the Crimson Tide for twenty years. Heis the host ofNASCAR Live, a weekly, nationally syndicated radio call-in show andcalls play-by-play for arena football, NFL, professional baseball, and NHL on radio and television.

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Read an Excerpt

Bear's Boys

By Eli Gold MB Roberts

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2007 Eli Gold
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-0324-3

Chapter One


"I wanted to be great at something." -BOB BAUMHOWER

Some people call it an "A-ha" moment. You know, when something happens to you that shapes your life forever? Bob Baumhower remembers such a moment. It was the fall of 1974, Bob's sophomore year. He had just quit the University of Alabama football team and was sitting on (or sinking into) the infamous low-slung couch in Coach Bryant's office.

Things had begun well for Bob at Bama. He started his freshman year as an offensive lineman but moved to defense and was a starter by the following spring. So, in the fall, Bob assumed he would automatically be a starter again. He assumed wrong.

"I didn't do a whole lot between spring and fall ball because in my mind, I'd already arrived," Baumhower said. "When I got back, I wasn't in great shape. Then I got my jersey. I was last string. I was wondering what was going on. So, after three or four days, I quit."

Then, Coach Bryant summoned Baumhower and Baumhower's dad to his office. When the Baumhowers arrived, Coach Bryant greeted Baumhower's father warmly. Then he turned to Baumhower and said, "What the hell are you doinghere? I don't talk to quitters."

Then he mumbled something in a low growl along the lines of, "Well, as long as you're here...."

Coach Bryant then proceeded to explain to Baumhower what every other player ahead of him on the roster had done over the summer to improve. One guy lost weight. Another got stronger. A third got faster.

According to Baumhower, Coach Bryant told him, "I don't think you're a quitter; I think you're frustrated. But it doesn't mean enough to you. To have someone on the starting line, I have to know this is their number-one priority."

By the end of the meeting, Baumhower was begging to come back. Eventually, Coach Bryant gave the nod, but he also warned him it wasn't going to be easy. The defensive coordinator, Ken Donahue, had a reputation for being an extremely tough and demanding extension of Bryant.

Again, the low growl: "Donahue is probably going to kill you," Bryant said. "But we'll see what you've got."

Baumhower was off and running. Being singled out by Coach Bryant was just the kick he needed. "He cared about me enough to turn the light on for me," Baumhower said. "He made me believe I had the opportunity to do something special."

Baumhower went right to work. He not only regained his starting position, but over the next three years he became one of the best defensive players the Crimson Tide ever produced, racking up 246 tackles in his career. He was a two-time all-SEC performer and played in the Senior Bowl, where his coach was the Miami Dolphins' Don Shula. Coach Shula apparently liked what he saw: at the end of Baumhower's senior year, he was drafted by Miami in the second round of the NFL Draft. He played there for ten years.

From the get-go, Baumhower was in sync with the attitude and the goals of his pro team.

"At Alabama we played for the national championship," Baumhower said. "In Miami we played for the Super Bowl. That was our goal. Not just to have a winning season but to go for the top."

Baumhower was also shocked to discover that although it wasn't going to be a cakewalk, he was more than prepared to play in the pros.

"We hit the field, and before I knew it someone said, 'Practice is over,'" Baumhower remembered. "I hadn't broken a sweat yet! At Alabama, we practiced three or four hours. I thought, Man, I'm gonna love this!"

One thing Baumhower didn't love at first was his new position-nose guard.

"It's a really tough position," Baumhower said. "You're getting nailed from every direction. The guys who came in with me said, 'You poor SOB-I wouldn't play the middle for nothing.'"

But another light went on for Baumhower when his defensive coach told him he could be a good defensive back but he could be a great nose tackle. "I wanted to be great at something," Baumhower said. "So I jumped on it."

Baumhower's Dolphins career was outstanding! He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1977 and would go on to win the honor of 1983 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He played in 125 consecutive games, five Pro Bowls, and two Super Bowls, all for Don Shula. Baumhower has often been asked to compare his two legendary coaches.


Excerpted from Bear's Boys by Eli Gold MB Roberts Copyright © 2007 by Eli Gold. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Foreword, v,
Acknowledgments, vii,
Introduction, 1,
Bob Baumhower, 7,
Jim Bunch, 15,
Jeremiah Castille, 22,
Richard Cole, 29,
Paul Crane, 36,
Sylvester Croom, 42,
Jerry Duncan, 49,
Mike Hall, 57,
John Hannah, 63,
Dennis Homan, 71,
Scott Hunter, 78,
Wilbur Jackson, 85,
Lee Roy Jordan, 92,
E. J. Junior, 99,
Barry Krauss, 106,
Woodrow Lowe, 114,
Marty Lyons, 120,
Gaylon McCullough, 127,
Don McNeal, 134,
John Mitchell, 141,
Mal Moore, 148,
Johnny Musso, 155,
Joe Namath, 162,
Billy Neighbors, 169,
Ozzie Newsome, 176,
Ray Perkins, 183,
Gary Rutledge, 190,
Howard Schnellenberger, 197,
Steadman Shealy, 204,
Steve Sloan, 211,
Ken Stabler, 218,
Gene Stallings, 226,
Dwight Stephenson, 234,
Richard Todd, 241,
Pat Trammell, 249,
Tommy Wilcox, 257,

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2009

    Bear's Boys

    As an OSU Comp Student 2009, I found this book interesting. In Bear's Boys, Eli Gold interviews 36 men who played for or who coached under Coach Paul Bear Bryant. Coming into this book, I thought that the book was going to talk about Coach Bryant much more than it did. Although it was a good book, it was a little disappointing in this regard. The book pretty much tells about the people that he interviewed and what they are doing now. It includes players such as Bob Baumhower, John Hannah, Joe Namath, Howard Schnellenberger, and many more. The part that I appreciated most and thought was the most interesting was the stories that these people told about that included Coach Bryant. The only problem with the book is that it did not do this enough, and did not concentrate on Coach Bryant enough.
    It is not a bad book because it does not concentrate on Coach Bryant enough, it just seems misleading. The book will go awhile without even mentioning Coach Bryant and just speaking on the players.
    The best part about the book is how that players mentioned say pretty much the same thing about Coach Bryant. Everyone was afraid of him, they all respect him greatly, and most impressive is the fact that they all credit him for what it is that they have become.

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    Posted February 19, 2009

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    Posted February 24, 2010

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