A true coaching legend passes away … Bill Walsh dead at 75.
Bill Walsh, one of the most innovative and easily top 5 NFL coaching legends has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with leukemia. Bill Walsh brought the San Francisco 49ers in of the late 1970’s from a door-mat to the pinnacle of Super Bowl success in 1984. Bill Walsh, the innovator of the West Coast offense and the master of eying talent died today and left a big gap in the hearts of true football fans everywhere. Bill Walsh was simply known in football circles as “The Genius.”
Diagnosed with leukemia in 2004, Walsh had been in failing health for several months, according to Stanford University, where he served as coach and athletic director.
Cerebral, introspective and innovative, Walsh had an uncanny eye for scouting players and designing refined game plans. His offensive scheme — predicated on short, horizontal timing passes — fueled a dynasty in San Francisco with Super Bowl victories after the 1981, ’84 and ’88 seasons. (LA Times)
(NFL Hall of Fame, Class of 1993)
Walsh’s coaching style was unique as he revamped the SF 49ers from the outhouse to the penthouse in the 1980’s winning 3 Super Bowls over his NFL coaching career. The San Francisco 49ers were known as the Team of the 80’s. Bill Walsh retired from the National Football League in 1989 at the top of his profession, after leading his 49ers to victory over Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII. Bill Walsh can easily be considered one of the top 5 coaches that has ever graced the NFL sidelines including other such legends as Vince Lombardi, Paul Brown, Tom Landry and George Halas.
The true mark of a coaching legend is not just what they did while coaching, but their legacy as well. Bill Walsh’s coaching tree is a virtual who’s who in the coaching game both past and present.
There’s George Seifert, who succeeded Walsh on the 49ers’ sidelines and went on to win two more Super Bowls after Walsh had won three.
Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks), Dennis Green (former Minnesota & Arizona coach), Sam Wyche (former Cincinnati Bengals coach), Ray Rhodes (former Philadelphia & GB coach) and Bruce Coslet (Former NY Jets Coach) also became NFL coaches after serving under Walsh.
Tony Dungy, who coached Indianapolis to a Super Bowl title last season, played under Walsh.
Most of Walsh’s assistants have handed down his offensive strategies to a new generation of coaches including Mike Shanahan (Denver Broncos), Jon Gruden (Tampa Bay Bucs), Brian Billick (Baltimore Ravens), Andy Reid (Philadelphia Eagles), Pete Carroll (USC Trojans), Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans), Steve Mariucci (former SF & Detroit coach) and Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans).