William Ernest "Bill" Walsh (November 30, 1931 – July 30, 2007) was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal football team, during which time he popularized the West Coast offense. After retiring from the 49ers, Walsh worked as a sports broadcaster for several years and then returned as head coach at Stanford for three seasons.
Walsh went 102–63–1 with the 49ers, winning 10 of his 14 postseason games along with six division titles, three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984. In 1993, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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 for two seasons. 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 Jose 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
Following graduation, Walsh coached the football and swim teams at Washington High School in Fremont, California.
Walsh was coaching in Fremont when he interviewed for an assistant coaching position with Marv Levy, who had just been hired as the head coach at the University of California, Berkeley.
"I was very impressed, individually, by his knowledge, by his intelligence, by his personality, and hired him," Levy said. Levy and Walsh, two future NFL Hall of Famers, would never produce a winning season at Cal.
After Cal, Walsh did a stint at Stanford as an assistant coach, before beginning his pro coaching career.
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