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Jul-31-2007 06:14printcomments

NFL Mourns 'The Genius' Bill Walsh

Walsh went 102-63-1 with the 49ers, winning 10 of his 14 postseason games along with six division titles.

bill walsh photo
Photo courtesy: NFL.com

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Bill Walsh, who guided the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl titles and enjoyed one of the most brilliant careers in the history of football, has died after a long fight with leukemia.

He was 75.

"This is just a tremendous loss for all of us, especially to the Bay Area because of what he meant to the 49ers," said Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. "For me personally, outside of my dad he was probably the most influential person in my life. I am going to miss him."

Walsh passed away at home in Woodside, CA with his family by his side.

He is survived by his wife Geri, son Craig, daughter Elizabeth, sister Maureen, daughter-in-law Kim grandchildren Samantha and Nathan and brother-in-law Ed.

Funeral services are pending and will be announced when finalized.

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.

Reactions to his passing...

"Bill was blessed with one of the greatest gifts you can have which is the ability to see the future potential of another human being. It just so happened that football was his expertise. He saw in me much more than I ever saw in myself well before I ever had a chance to understand it. That is the ultimate compliment to the word coach. There's nothing more a coach should be than to see the full potential of a player unfolded. I am eternally grateful to Bill Walsh ." - Steve Young

“His Hall of Fame coaching accomplishments speak for themselves, but the essence of Bill Walsh was that he was an extraordinary teacher. If you gave him a blackboard and a piece of chalk, he would become a whirlwind of wisdom. He taught all of us not only about football but also about life and how it takes teamwork for any of us to succeed as individuals. He helped the league on many important initiatives, from improving opportunities for minorities in coaching and the front office to our executive training and international development programs. Bill Walsh was a mentor to me and many others. He revolutionized the game with his ‘West Coast Offense’ and will always be remembered as one of the most influential people in NFL history.” - Roger Goodell

“Bill Walsh’s skills, leadership and amazing wit helped change the direction and style of America’s greatest sport. His various contributions became a major ingredient in the catalyst that unified our Nation’s most diverse and unique community at a time when it needed it most. He loved San Francisco and the Bay Area enthusiastically returned the affection. “- Carmen Policy

"What really made Bill special is that he understood that the game was bigger than him. His genius was not centered around Xs and Os, it was centered around his ability to create a platform that made the game inclusive to others. He will forever be cemented with the likes of George Halas, Paul Brown and Vince Lombardi as the best ever." - Ronnie Lott




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