Bill Walsh dies at 75; led 49ers to three Super Bowl titles
ESPN.com news services
Updated: July 30, 2007, 3:21 PM ET
Bill Walsh, who guided the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl championships and six NFC West division titles in his 10 years as head coach, has died at the age of 75.
Walsh died early Monday following a long battle with leukemia, according to Stanford University, where he served as coach and athletic director.
Walsh didn't become an NFL head coach until 47, and he spent just 10 seasons on the San Francisco sideline. But he left an indelible mark on the United States' most popular sport, building the once-woebegone 49ers into the most successful team of the 1980s with his innovative offensive strategies and teaching techniques.
The soft-spoken native Californian also produced a legion of coaching disciples that's still growing today. Many of his former assistants went on to lead their own teams, handing down Walsh's methods and schemes to dozens more coaches in a tree with innumerable branches.
Walsh went 102-63-1 with the 49ers, winning 10 of his 14 postseason games along with six division titles. He was named the NFL's coach of the year in 1981 and 1984.
And few men did more to shape the look of football into the 21st century. His cerebral nature and often-brilliant stratagems earned him the nickname "The Genius" well before his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2954719
As a lover of football, I salute Bill Walsh for his staggering contribution to pro football. He is in my Parthenon of coaching along with Lombardi, Halas, Landry, Noll, and Madden.
A sad day.
Oski Wee Wee,