Paul W. Bryant Museum

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Paul W. Bryant Museum
Paul W. Bryant Museum logo.png
Established 1985
Location Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Visitors 35,000
Director Kenneth Gaddy[1]
Curator Taylor Watson[2]
Website www.bryant.ua.edu

The Paul W. Bryant Museum is located on the campus of the University of Alabama,[3] in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.[4] Founded in 1985,[5] the museum was opened in 1988 to "house the history of Alabama football, with special emphasis on the legendary coach,"[6] Bear Bryant.

History[edit]

Entrance to the Bryant Museum.

On the suggestion of former head football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, a planning committee was created in 1981 to establish a museum that would honor former coaches and players who helped Bryant set the intercollegiate coaching record for the most victories. The committee considered Bryant's suggestion and established that the museum would take on two missions: "inclusion of the entire football history from the first team in 1892 and creating a collections component establishing the foundation of our current institution."[7]

Since its inception in 1985, the museum has grown in staff, services, and exhibits. It has become a central source of information for both journalists and writers interested in the history of university athletics.[2][8][9] In addition to building its collection, the museum has begun focusing on public programming such as informational and education services and tours for school groups.[7] The University of Alabama campus and the local communities' support have helped to establish the museum as one of the attractions to the region.

Originally organized under the supervision of the University of Alabama Museums system, the Bryant Museum has recently become a freestanding unit reporting directly to the Vice President/Provost of the University in response to the growth in mission and function of the museum.

On April 21, 2007, the museum posted its largest ever attendance at 4,367. This was in connection with the school's annual A-Day football game which also saw a record 92,138 fans in the seats.[10]

The museum is part of the University of Alabama Museums, which also include the University of Alabama Arboretum, Alabama Museum of Natural History, Discovering Alabama, Gorgas House, Moundville Archaeological Museum and Office of Archaeological Research.

Exhibits[edit]

Among the exhibits at the museum are a Waterford Crystal houndstooth hat which commemorates the Coach's head-wear and the Daniel Moore painting used to create the 32-cent U.S. postage stamp which celebrated the life of Bryant.[11] The museum also houses a research room where all of Alabama's games, both victories, defeats and even embarrassments can be viewed and studied. Officials claim over 1,000 such videos[1] The museum also maintains a listing of people who were named for Bryant. Bryant's former players and fans have named their children Bryant, Paul, Bear and even Paula after Coach Bryant. Every September the Paul W. Bryant Museum hosts a namesake reunion and there are over 600 namesakes that have attended this annual event. The oldest namesake (besides Coach Bryant's son Paul Bryant, Jr.) is Bryant Darrell Brown, son of Junction Survivor Darrell Brown who, due to being academically ineligible to play in 1956, surprised even Coach Bryant when he came back to play his last year of eligibility on Texas A&M's 1957 team which was ranked #1 at the time Coach Bryant accepted Alabama's offer. Darrell was the only Junction Boy to also play in Coach Bryant's last season at Texas A&M. Darrell Brown's grandson, Bryant Andrew Brown is a second generation Bryant namesake. At over 600 names it is not definitive, but the list supports the idea that many Alabamians were enamored enough of the coach to name their children in his honor.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kaylor, Mike (September 2, 1993). "Museum not just a shrine but a tribute to the game". Huntsville Times. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b Briley, John D. (August 2006). Career in Crisis: Paul Bear Bryant and the 1970 Season of Change. Macon: Mercer University Press. pp. Acknowledgments. ISBN 0-88146-025-7. 
  3. ^ "Map and Hours of Bryant Museum". 
  4. ^ Johnson, Clint (January 2007). The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South (and Why It Will Rise Again). Regnery Publishing. pp. 68–69. ISBN 1-59698-500-3. 
  5. ^ Danilov, Victor J. (November 1997). Hall of Fame Museums: A Reference Guide. Westport: Greenwood Press. p. 87. ISBN 0-313-30000-3. 
  6. ^ Telander, Rick (August 2003). The Hundred Yard Lie: The Corruption of College Football and What We Can Do to Stop It. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. p. 29. ISBN 0-252-06523-9. 
  7. ^ a b "Brief History of the Paul W. Bryant Museum". Paul W. Bryant Museum. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  8. ^ Borelli, Stephen (March 2005). How About That!: The Life of Mel Allen. Champaign: Sports Publishing. pp. Acknowledgments. ISBN 1-58261-733-3. 
  9. ^ Townsend, Stephen (August 2003). Tales from 1978-79 Alabama Football: A Time of Champions. Champaign: Sports Publishing. pp. Acknowledgments. ISBN 1-58261-425-3. 
  10. ^ Barnhardt, Tony (2007-04-27). "Colleges: Inside College Football: Big Easy's BCS double". Atlanta Journal & Constitution (Newspaper) (Atlanata Journal and Constitution). p. 18E. 
  11. ^ "Bryant: Man, myth, artwork". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  12. ^ MacGowan, James (2005-11-20). "His Tide will not ebb: The legendary 'Bear' Bryant has been dead 23 years, but in the land of the Crimson Tide, his name will always be remembered with awe". The Ottawa Citizen (Newspaper) (Southam Business Information and Communications Group, Incorporated). p. D10. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°12′20″N 87°32′7″W / 33.20556°N 87.53528°W / 33.20556; -87.53528