— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama football player and Bear Bryant assistant Clem Gryska has died.
The university said Gryska died Monday after a brief illness. He was 84.
Gryska played for the Crimson Tide from 1945-48 under Frank Thomas and Harold "Red" Drew despite having lost most of his right hand in a childhood accident.
He coached at high schools in Gadsden and Huntsville before joining Bryant's staff at Alabama in 1960. He was the head freshman coach and recruiting coordinator until 1976.
Crimson Tide athletic director Mal Moore says Gryska was a father figure for the freshmen and "will be missed by every player that joined the team in those days."
Gryska later served the athletic department in administrative roles and worked at the Bryant Museum on Alabama's campus.