Thursday, February 10, 2011

Emory Bellard Dies

Emory Bellard Dies - Emory Bellard’s legacy as a football technician was etched on the pages of graph paper on which he plotted the wishbone, his high-octane, eight-yards-and-a-cloud-of-points offense that helped revolutionize the college game in the late 1960s.

The true measure of the man, however, is contained in the words his wife, Susan, wrote on a scrap of paper a few weeks before Bellard’s death Thursday morning in Georgetown as a result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

"So many people had come to see him, and he appreciated it so much," Susan Bellard said. "He said something to me one day, and I wrote it down on a piece of paper so I would always remember it. He said he was what he was because of the people who surrounded him."

Those friends and admirers rallied to his side in the days after Bellard, 83, who spent four decades as a Texas high school coach, as an assistant at Texas and as head coach at Texas A&M and Mississippi State, was diagnosed last year with ALS, which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

"You can’t make a better statement than the one (Gehrig) made, you know — ‘the luckiest guy in the world,’?" he said during an event in his honor last October. "And I am lucky. I’ve had a great life, no ifs, ands or buts about it. I’m 10 times as blessed as most people."

Emory Bellard Dies

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