Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Climbing Bill Walsh's Coaching Tree

Bill Walsh died yesterday at the age of 75. R.I.P. "The Genius".

Walsh's football coaching success came mostly in the pro's where his West Coast offense really thrived. It emphasized short to intermediate passing routes run with precision by the receivers, thereby spreading out the defense for longer pass and run plays. The 49'ers teams of the 80's are a great example of that style of offense.

Instead of listing Walsh's accomplishments to convey his success, I thought I might post a different set of statistics to show how much he influenced the game over the course of his life. Like I stated before, most of Walsh's success and influence was concentrated in the NFL. However, one example of Walsh's influence in the college game came in '84 and '90 when BYU, using a version of the West Coast offense, won a national title and Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy, respectively. In the NFL ranks his reach was far greater, as you can see from his coaching tree:

Let's see how many Super Bowls wins have come as a result of Walsh's influence:

Bill Walsh: 3 Super Bowls('81, '84, '88)
Mike Holmgren: 1 Super Bowl('96)
George Seifert: 2 Super Bowls('89, '94)
Jon Gruden: 1 Super Bowl('02)
Mike Shanahan: 2 Super Bowls('98, '99)
Brian Billick: 1 Super Bowl('00)
Tony Dungy: 1 Super Bowl('06)

That's 11 Super Bowls that Walsh's coaching influence has contributed to. Obviously not every one of those teams ran the West Coast offense(the Ravens in '00 had almost no passing attack), but Walsh's ideologies and techniques have been passed down through the coaching ranks.

So, R.I.P. Bill "The Genius" Walsh, your influence in football coaching, as well as football video games is still felt today. And in order to keep the mood somewhat light, I present you with the Coors Light Bill Walsh commercials.

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