Bill Walsh (American football coach)

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Bill Walsh (American football coach) : biography

November 30, 1931 – July 30, 2007

Bill Walsh coaching tree

Many former and current NFL head coaches trace their lineage back to Bill Walsh on his coaching tree, shown below. Walsh, in turn, belonged to the coaching tree of American Football League great and Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman of the AFL’s Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF 1979 2 14 0 .125 4th in NFC West
SF 1980 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC West
SF 1981 13 3 0 .812 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XVI Champions.}}
SF 1982 3 6 0 .333 11th in NFC
SF 1983 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Washington Redskins in NFC Championship Game.}}
SF 1984 15 1 0 .938 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XIX Champions.}}
SF 1985 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Wild-Card Game.}}
SF 1986 10 5 1 .656 1st in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game.}}
SF 1987 13 2 0 .867 1st in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Minnesota Vikings in NFC Divisional Game.}}
SF 1988 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXIII Champions.}}
SF Total 92 59 1 .609 10 4 .714
Total 92 59 1 .609 10 4 .714

Books

  • Bill Walsh and Glenn Dickey, Building a Champion: On Football and the Making of the 49ers. St Martin’s Press, 1990. (ISBN 0-312-04969-2).
  • Bill Walsh, Brian Billick and James A. Peterson, Finding the Winning Edge. Sports Publishing, 1998. (ISBN 1-571-67172-2).
  • Bill Walsh with Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh, The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership. Penguin Group Publishing, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-59184-266-8).

Early career

Born in Los Angeles, Walsh played running back in the San Francisco Bay Area for Hayward High School in Hayward.

Walsh played quarterback at the College of San Mateo while attending there two years. Both John Madden and Walsh played and coached at the College of San Mateo early in their careers. After playing at the College of San Mateo, Walsh transferred to San José State University, where he played tight end and defensive end. He also participated in intercollegiate boxing. Walsh graduated from San Jose State with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1955. He served under Bob Bronzan as a graduate assistant coach on the Spartans football coaching staff and graduated with a master’s degree in physical education from San Jose State in 1959. His master’s thesis was entitled Flank Formation Football — Stress:: Defense. Thesis 796.W228f