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Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant returns to Lexington after UK’s Sugar Bowl victory, 1951

Posted on April 28, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

As soon as he stepped of a plane on Jan. 5, 1951, at Blue Grass Field, University of Kentucky football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant received a wreath of roses around his neck. Four days earlier in New Orleans, his Cats upset No. 1 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. After being greeted at the airport, the team boarded buses that were escorted by city, county and state motorcycle patrol officers down crowd-lined streets to Memorial Coliseum. There they were honored before 9,000 fans and were presented the Sugar Bowl trophy. The crowd and UK President Dr. Herman Lee Donovan lauded Bryant, who cautioned everyone that their first game on next year’s schedule was just around the corner. Bryant coached at Kentucky for eight winning seasons, from 1946 to 1953, before leaving for Texas A&M. He later went to Alabama, where he coached for 25 years, leading the Crimson Tide to six national titles and becoming a legend. Click here to see more images of Bryant from our archives. Class of 2019 quarterback Paul Tyson — the great grandson of Bryant — said he has received a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky. Published in the Lexington Leader on Jan. 5, 1951. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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