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News: Bill Walsh Passes Away at 75

Link Update: Make sure to visit fellow SB Nation blog, Niners Nation, for their take on what Bill Walsh meant to football.

I know this is a Warriors and basketball site, but we also cover major stories that occur in the Bay Area. Today is a sad day for not only Niner fans, but football fans all over. Bill Walsh, one of the greatest coaches ever, passed away today at age 75 after battling leukemia.

Walsh didn't become an NFL head coach until 47, and he spent just 10 seasons on the San Francisco sideline. But he left an indelible mark on the United States' most popular sport, building the once-woebegone 49ers into the most successful team of the 1980s with his innovative offensive strategies and teaching techniques.

The soft-spoken native Californian also produced a legion of coaching disciples that's still growing today. Many of his former assistants went on to lead their own teams, handing down Walsh's methods and schemes to dozens more coaches in a tree with innumerable branches.

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.

And few men did more to shape the look of football into the 21st century. His cerebral nature and often-brilliant stratagems earned him the nickname "The Genius" well before his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

I grew up a Niner fan and lived in a fanatical 49er household. Bill Walsh truly put the 49ers on the map and then some. He built the beginnings of one of the greatest sports dynasties ever. His innovative offense revolutionized the game while his ability to select top players (Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott to name a few) in the draft allowed him to run the type of team he wanted. What I can say is that much of the reason I am a football fan is because of Bill Walsh and what he did for the Niners, football, and the entire Bay Area. Truly a sad day.

All of us at GSoM would like to thank Bill for everything he did for the Niners and the Bay Area in general. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of The Genius.

Thanks to ThermoElectro for also posting this in the diaries: RIP Bill Walsh

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