Senators move to honor Bill Walsh

California’s U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, today introduced a resolution to honor the life and legacy of former San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh, who passed away this week. Walsh led the Niners to a record three Super Bowl Championships during the 1980s – in 1982, 1985, and 1989.

“San Francisco lost one of its all-time great citizens this week when legendary 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh passed away,” Feinstein said in a news release. “He touched so many in the Bay Area. He led the 49ers to three Super Bowls. And he gave this City a shot in the arm in some of its darkest hours. But I think what we will miss most is not Bill Walsh the coach, but Bill Walsh the person. He touched this City, and we owe him a debt that can never be repaid.”

Said Boxer: “I am pleased to join Senator Feinstein in honoring the life and career of Bill Walsh, who brought a new approach to the game of football as well as great pride to both 49er and Stanford fans in California and across the country. He not only won 3 Super Bowls and turned a struggling team into one of the greatest franchises in NFL history, but he also touched the hearts and lives of the fans who followed his great career. His legacy will continue to greatly impact the NFL.”

Read the resolution’s text, after the jump…

Whereas William Ernest Walsh was born on November 30, 1931 in Fremont, California;

Whereas Bill Walsh graduated from San Jose State University in 1955 where he was a successful amateur boxer and wide receiver;

Whereas in 1955 he married Geri Nadini with whom he had three children: Steve, Craig and Elizabeth.

Whereas Bill Walsh began his coaching career at Washington High School in Fremont California and later served as an assistant coach at the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University;

Whereas Bill Walsh served as an assistant coach with the Oakland Raiders in 1966, with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968 to 1975 and with the San Diego Chargers in 1976;

Whereas Bill Walsh served as head coach of Stanford University from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1992 to 1994, winning the Sun Bowl in 1977, the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1978 and the Blockbuster Bowl in 1992;

Whereas Bill Walsh became Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 and served in that position for ten years, winning six Western Division tittles and three National Football Conference Championships;

Whereas Bill Walsh led the 49ers to three Super Bowl wins in the 1980s: Super Bowl XVI, Super Bowl XIX, and Super Bowl XXIII;

Whereas Bill Walsh was the Associated Press and United Press International Coach of the Year in 1981;

Whereas Bill Walsh ended his pro coaching career with a record of 102 wins, 63 losses, and 1 tie;

Whereas Bill Walsh was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993;

Whereas Bill Walsh developed the innovative “West-Coast” offense, which became widely used by many National Football League (NFL) teams;

Whereas Bill Walsh drafted and developed countless number of NFL greats such as Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Dwight Clark, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice;

Whereas 14 of the NFL’s 32 head coaches have some connection to Bill Walsh;

Whereas Bill Walsh developed the Minority Coaching Fellowship program to help African American coaches find jobs in the NFL and Division I college football;

Whereas Bill Walsh and the 49ers brought the people of San Francisco together following some of the most difficult times in the City’s history and gave them much pride, joy, and excitement;

Whereas Bill Walsh embodied the qualities of hard work, tenacity, dedication, attention to detail, respect, teamwork, and living up to one’s potential: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That Congress Honors the life of William Ernest Walsh, a pioneer in the field of football, a true leader and teacher, and a dedicated husband, father, and friend.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.