Bryant was the head coach at Kentucky from 1946-53. UK compiled a 60-23-5 record during those eight seasons, including the Wildcats' first four bowl games. Kentucky won the first (and only) Great Lakes Bowl in 1947 and played in the Orange, Sugar, and Cotton bowls following the 1949, 1950, and 1951 seasons, respectively.
Kentucky's best season under Bryant came in 1950. UK went 11-1, capped by a 13-7 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, ending the Sooners' 31-game winning streak. UK is one of four schools who have a claim on the 1950 national championship. Bowl games were not included in the national rankings at the time, but an analysis of the 1950 season by the Sagarin Computer Ratings lists UK as the No. 1 team for that season.