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Offensive guru Walsh dies; once criticized Wildcats


Bill Walsh changed the look of the NFL with his West Coast offense and legion of coaching disciples, winning three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers.

Walsh, who died Monday at 75 after a long battle with leukemia, also created controversy after coaching Stanford for a second stint in 1992-94.

In the book “Rough Magic,” written by a San Francisco reporter who was given access to Stanford’s meetings in 1992, Walsh referred to the Arizona Wildcats as “a bunch of mercenaries” who “needed to be hosed down.”

“Eight of them will be in front of the camera at once, celebrating after each play, trying to claim they made the tackle,” Walsh said about UA. “We leave college football for three hours when we play these guys.”

In 1993, Walsh failed to meet former UA coach Dick Tomey at midfield after losing to the Wildcats for the second straight year. But Tomey, who also beat Walsh the next year, showed he had no hard feelings in February 1996, inviting Walsh and former UCLA coach Dick Vermeil to come to Tucson for a week to help UA retool its offense.

Citizen Staff Report

• Walsh appreciation, Page 5C

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