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Bear Bryant returns to Lexington, 1973

Posted on October 1, 2016 | in Uncategorized | by
Alabama Football Coach and Athletic Director Paul Bear Bryant greets Mrs. Charles Mitchell of Lexington after arriving at Blue Grass Field Sept. 21, 1973. The trip marked the first time Bryant, who coached at Kentucky for eight winning seasons, brought a team into Lexington to face the Wildcats. Bryant coached at UK from 1946-1953 before leaving for Texas A&M. He later went to Tuscaloosa was the legendary coach of Alabama for 25 years, leading the Crimson Tide to six national titles. Behind Bryant is Alabama basketball coach C.M. Newton, who came to Alabama after coaching at Lexington's Transylvania College for 12 seasons. After leaving Lexington in 1953, Bryant had a good relationship with Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp and in 1969 he took Rupp's advice in hiring Newton to revive Alabama's basketball program. Newton went on to lead the Tide to three straight SEC titles. After a 30 year coaching career, he came back to Lexington in 1989 to be the athletic director at his alma mater, UK, where he served for 11 years. As for the game the following day, a Commonwealth Stadium record crowd of 54,100 chanted "Beat Alabama" and "Let's skin the Bear" to welcome back their former coach. Despite taking a 14-0 lead at the half, UK lost to heavily-favored Alabama, 28-14. Photo by E. Martin Jessee | staff

Alabama football Coach and Athletic Director Paul Bear Bryant greeted Mrs. Charles Mitchell of Lexington after arriving at Blue Grass Field on Sept. 21, 1973. The trip marked the first time Bryant, who coached at Kentucky for eight winning seasons, brought a team into Lexington to face the Wildcats. Bryant coached at UK from 1946 to 1953 before leaving for Texas A&M. He later went to Tuscaloosa and was the legendary coach of Alabama for 25 years, leading the Crimson Tide to six national titles. Behind Bryant is Alabama basketball coach C.M. Newton, who came to Alabama after coaching at Lexington’s Transylvania College for 12 seasons. After leaving Lexington in 1953, Bryant had a good relationship with Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, and in 1969, he took Rupp’s advice in hiring Newton to revive Alabama’s basketball program. Newton went on to lead the Tide to three straight SEC titles. After a 30-year coaching career, he came back to Lexington in 1989 to be the athletic director at his alma mater, UK, where he served for 11 years. As for the game the following day, a Commonwealth Stadium record crowd of 54,100 chanted “Beat Alabama” and “Let’s skin the Bear” to welcome back their former coach. Despite taking a 14-0 lead at the half, UK lost to heavily favored Alabama, 28-14. Kentucky plays Alabama Saturday day in Tuscaloosa. Click here to see other photos of Bryant from our archives. Photo by E. Martin Jessee | Staff

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