"Bear's Boys" Reunion is this Weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The "Bear's Boys," former University of Kentucky football players under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, will have a reunion Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, in Lexington.

Approximately 35-40 of the Bear's Boys plan to attend the event, according to reunion chairman Dick Rushing. Among the returnees who have committed to attend are a pair of former Wildcat All-Americans, quarterback Babe Parilli and end Steve Meilinger, former All-SEC end Ben Zaranka, and twin backs Harry and Larry Jones, known by their unique uniform numbers of "1A" and "1B." The group will have a reception on Friday night and a dinner on Saturday night. The Bear's Boys have had reunions every two or three years since 1983.

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.

AllWildcats Top Stories