Ron Agostini

Walsh's impact lives on

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Bill Walsh always said his mentor was the late Bob Bronzan, his coach at San Jose State. Bronzan is remembered here, however, as a center for Modesto Junior College (1936-37) and a coach at Livingston High (1941).

Bronzan broke the SJS racial barrier by recruiting 12 black players in 1955. Walsh no doubt noticed.

Bronzan was known as an innovator. Ditto Walsh.

Sonora's Paul Becker, an assistant coach at San Jose City while Walsh was a head coach at Washington High in Fremont: "Bill would come to our practice and ask question after question, like 'Why are you doing this?' and just hound us. He drove us crazy."

Modesto's Jerry Streeter, a punter at Pacific, remembers the lanky receiver at San Jose State (Walsh).

The East Coast media treated Walsh's death as a one-day story, a mistake it wouldn't have made had the man been Bill Parcells.

A postscript on the late Downey coach Chuck Hughes: His San Jose State football teams won 18 games in two years and his basketball teams were 41-18 (1947-48).

I wasn't born yet, but: A 6-foot-3 collegiate quarterback in the late 1940s must have been impressive to watch.

The Giants dealt Matt Morris and acquired Rajai Davis, which is spelled M-A-R-V-I-N B-E-N-A-R-D.

It wouldn't have been just a salary dump if the Giants threw in Ray Durham.

When new Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was asked if he still stood behind his tough-talk about USC and Michigan (his alma mater), he said, "Absolutely."

Harbaugh either is 1. Determined to the 10th degree to change the mentality at Stanford, or 2. Clueless about how hard his job will be, or 3. Has made his job 10 times harder.

Now that the Lions have signed Calvin Johnson, the Raiders and JaMarcus Russell can talk business. One problem: He's already missed 12 practices, a big factor for the franchise's future QB.

The positive spin behind disgraced NBA official Tim Donaghy: Thanks to him, the NBA won't again put itself within a million miles of Las Vegas.

For the pitchers griping over giving up Barry Bonds' 755th home run: No one will remember you. The guy who yields No. 756, however, will have the numbers stamped on his forehead. Ask Al Downing.

The Kings will make exactly one national TV appearance on ESPN next season, further proof they've vanished from the radar screen.

Modesto High has enjoyed better swimmers and water players than the late Ryan Dickerson, but never one more intelligent, likeable or popular.

Now that there's a baseball exhibit at McHenry Museum, how about a Coca-Cola Modesto Relays exhibit? It's been the city's signature sports event for only 66 years.

Eric Chavez's injury marks the 19th time the Athletics have used the disabled list. Look no further for the reasons behind the A's lost season.

All you need to know about the X Games: As skateboarder Jake Brown lay motionless after freefalling 40 feet, TV analyst Tony Hawk says, "I can't believe he just hit a 720."

Why it's still easy to hate the Dodgers: While Bonds chases the record Thursday night, the Dodgers hold a Steroids Awareness Clinic (wink wink) before the game.

That said: "The Ghosts Of Flatbush," the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers and their heartbreaking exit to LA, is a must-watch on HBO.

Peyton Manning is stressing, and so would you if the only left tackle of your career retires (Tarik Glenn, Cal).

Cal's Jeff Tedford received a hand-written "great job" letter from Walsh after the Bears' 52-49 win over Virginia Tech in the 2003 Insight Bowl. That letter is framed on the wall of Tedford's office.

ncredible stat: Walsh's 49er teams enjoyed a 29-2 run on the road.

The public will remember Walsh at a service Friday at 11 a.m. at Monster Park. The turnout will be larger than anyone guesses.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at"> or 578-2302.