Bill Walsh, the imaginative and charismatic coach who took over a downtrodden 49ers team and built one of the greatest franchises in NFL history, died Monday morning at his home in Woodside at the age of 75, after a three-year struggle with leukemia.He was tough, he was brilliant, and he made poetry out of a brutal sport. He was a gentleman in a world of bullies. More than anything, he was an artist.
A master of using short, precisely timed passes to control the ball in what became known as the West Coast offense, he guided the team to three Super Bowl championships and six NFC West division titles in his 10 years as head coach.
It took far more than an innovative offense for Walsh to become one of the most revered figures in Bay Area sports. He handled NFL drafts adeptly and polished his management style by studying the leadership of Civil War and World War II generals.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The Greatest Modern Football Coach
San Francisco Chronicle: