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Author Topic: Michael "Bear" Bryant  (Read 4546 times)
SherryHall
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2016, 07:39:55 AM »

From Brandon Mark

Oh man, that is terrible news. Bear influenced my life in such great and positive ways. I will always remember him.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2016, 07:40:28 AM »

From: Amy Schimandle

Such sad news today. My college debate coach- legendary Bear Michael Bryant passed away. I could not imagine myself being where I am without his influence and help.

Bear,

I'm so sad to know you're gone but glad to think you are not hurting any longer. Even if most of the last years were just me on a near daily basis saying to myself "Get Em Bear!" Enjoying all your political posts & outrage. Knowing you were there vigilant for the cause. You were always so quick to fight against any perceived injustice; whether it was Neo-Nazis on the short wave, an alternate opinion on eDebate, or a guy pulling out in front of you at the airport drop off. You gave me a home when I was lost, you were my friend when I needed one. The institution that was Weber debate in your days gave a future to many that needed a soft place to learn how to cope. Growing up is hard especially in the face of so much injustice. Debate teaches you how much of that there is. But you were a great example of how to navigate the lines, judge and find the path, but most importantly, to not be silent. You fought for us, fought for your truth, and fought for fun. I was glad to know you, glad to be on your team.

Always.
Amy
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SherryHall
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2016, 07:41:03 AM »

From: Eric Marlow

I can't even begin to express the loss I feel, today. Bear was more than just my friend, he was my brother. I learned more from him than anyone but my dad. My sadness is unfathomable. Who will fill my newsfeed with fantastic pictures of the universe and liberal truth. I just can't tell you how lost I already feel. My brother until the end; I love you and hope we meet again some day. Thank you, again, for all that you gave me!
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SherryHall
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2016, 07:41:48 AM »

From: Doug Dennis

tl/dr if that matters to you...

I went to Weber State. I debated for Michael Bryant (Bear). Debating for him wasn't always easy- in fact, it was rarely easy- debating for Bear was hard because he had expectations for you, and it always seemed, at least for me, those expectations were well beyond my reach and rarely did I meet those expectations, which was simultaneously infuriating and motivating. I never felt like I was the debater that he wanted me to be, and when I was debating, it kind of bummed me out. when i told him i was transferring, he was quick to tell me he wished me success wherever i ended up debating and that he pushed me because he knew i could be better than my expectations (he was right) , and i told him i was going to Oregon- he told me I'd be back, because i wasn't finished with debate (he was right, again) and despite me no longer being a member of the team, he never stopped caring.

that's the part most people never got to see. he cared about his debaters in a way most can't or won't.

it was the part of his coaching and teaching that i tried to emulate: higher than achievable expectations for my kids on the hope that they meet them but knowing they've surpassed their own expectations, but they all know that i have their backs, even when they're not around anymore- that team is family and family is permanent.

anyone who ever debated for me has him to thank. if you wonder why i always pushed you harder and expected more of you...

Proud to say i debated for him. Prouder to call him a mentor and a friend.

Still devastated.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 07:43:25 AM »

From: Tony Santamassino

Just read about the passing of another friend and colleague, Mike Michael Bryant. Not sure about details.

Spoke with him this week and he said he was feeling better.
Sent him birthday wishes Saturday.

RIP... Mike... you will be missed.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2016, 07:44:09 AM »

From: Bernardo Attias

Sad to read that Bear Bryant passed on today. It's been a difficult month already, and I know he'll be missed. His always supportive smile was an important fixture of the debate community, and he was a great storyteller to boot. And once he started twisting them up you knew you were in for a long night
wink emoticon
Farewell my friend.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2016, 07:44:41 AM »

From: Scott Odekirk

I am deeply hurt by the loss of my friend and coach, Bear aka Michael Bryant. I was there at the end of his Weber run. He took me in and made me feel like somebody in this harsh world had my back. Loyalty was everything for Bear. He believed in me so much and I always felt that warmth from him. He loved Weber State Debate. I loved sitting in his apartment, watching Law and Order, and laughing as he grew enraged responding to people on Edebate. He would tell me stories with such vigor and intensity that I could listen to him for hours. His care for the world and for others was so huge that sometimes it spilled over into rage. I loved that passion. I always counted myself lucky that he was on my side. He was a life-long debater (in many contexts), an enthralling educator (his classes were a show), a mentor, a friend, and a loving dad. I didn't get enough time with him, none of us did.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2016, 07:45:47 AM »

From: Glina Bryant Lentz

Thanks everyone for your prayers and thoughts regarding the death of my brother Mike Bryant. I just wanted everyone to know that Mike will not have a funeral but instead his daughter, Melissa Bryant, is having him cremated. Due to bad weather, the family will be having a memorial service/celebration of life in the Spring and when travel conditions are better. I will keep everyone informed and let you know when we will feast in Mike's honor.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2016, 07:46:24 AM »

From: Mike Zahller

Yesterday, I learned that my former collegiate debate coach, Michael Bryant (a.k.a. Bear), had passed away unexpectedly. Truth be told, the news completely took me by surprise. I was aware via FB that Bear wasn't doing too well health-wise, but for that to lead to him passing away came as a complete shock to me personally.

See, to me, Bear was always a fighter. He fought for what he believed in no matter what; he fought against injustice (even if that injustice had nothing to do with him personally); he fought to win in the things he was involved in; he fought to make sure the ones he cared about were benefitting from their time with him; etc. And, as I reflect on my time with Bear, I have come to realize that he fought for me too.

He fought to make sure that I grew as a student, as a debater and as a person. He fought to help me succeed in my debate rounds especially when he knew how much winning a particular round would mean to me personally. He fought to come up with new arguments for Zach and I to use in our debate rounds even if that meant him staying up all night DURING a tournament to cut cards for said argument (and boy-o-boy was he ever excited to share those new arguments with us the next morning). He fought to make sure I was making sound decisions with both my education and my life as a whole. And sometimes I think he fought just to motivate me to fight a little more for what I wanted and for what I believed in.

Bear will definitely be missed by both myself and the countless others who's lives he has touched. Wherever he may be at this time, I can assure you he's giving 'em hell in only the way he could. Rest in peace my friend.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2016, 07:46:52 AM »

From: Salahudeen Abdulkhalique Supe

R.I.P Michael Bryant one of the best teachers I've ever had the privilege to learn from. You will not be forgotten.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2016, 07:47:21 AM »

From: Mathew Ballard feeling bummed.

He was one of the good ones.

Today I found out that yesterday, on his 58th birthday, Michael Bryant passed away. He was a teacher of mine during my days at LTI (SCTD) in public speaking and professional development. In the classroom I learned a thing or two from him in the classroom. However, what I really appreciate was his belief in me and my ability to accomplish and conquer whatever I decide to go after. He wanted to see everyone that crossed through his classroom to succeed and made sure everyone knew it.

Since I graduated in 2007 we stayed in touch through Facebook and random visits of mine to the campus. Through some of my more significant challenges in starting my career he was on the sidelines motivating me to keep going and to never give up. Once I finally cemented myself at Humana, he was there to congratulate me and celebrate my new found success.

Mr. Bryant, I will conclude by echoing others once more - you were one of the good ones.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2016, 07:47:51 AM »

From: Brandon Mark

My college debate coach, Michael Bryant, passed away a few days ago. Bear, as he was known, changed my life. When the University of New Mexico shuttered the debate the program, Bear allowed me to come debate for Weber State Debate in the great state of Utah, my current home. If not for Bear's decision, I wouldn't know my husband, wouldn't have my beautiful children, and wouldn't be where I am today.

But more than that, I wouldn't be who I am today. Bear was a role model. He stood up for what be believed in, no matter what. He cared deeply for his debaters--he made us all want to be and do better to make him proud. I know that I wouldn't be who I am today if not for Bear. Thanks for everything Bear--your legacy will live on in the lives you changed.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 07:48:29 AM »

From: James Martin

Got a little industrial out of my system. Ahead of their time. Kept me up for research and blocking out strategy Vs The best of the best. Loss of a friend.mentor and coach brought of me a release. VIP. Michael Bryant. Not for the faint of heart. Must be clear... This shot was my cathartic when young. Poetry is spot on kritik. Helped me come out of the proverbial closet.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2016, 07:49:03 AM »

From: Melissa Bryant‎


I have less than 24 hours to write the obituary for sunday. My dad was many things to many different people and I still don't know how to put that into 4 or 5 lines... as I try to figure that out I should mention the things that I can't afford via the local paper.

1) it's cold and the louisville weather is unpredictable. we'll have a public gathering in the spring.

2) while I don't advocate poor people donating to political campaigns, dad would probably rather y'all donate $ to Bernie Sanders. that's your decision... just know that he'd like me to put that out there.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2016, 11:49:21 AM »

From: Jared Ellis‎:

I wasn't originally going to post this story, but Zach W. convinced me I should.

I became friends with Bear in the mid nineties, when I debated for Lewis & Clark. The Weber team traveled pretty extensively in the Northwest and I got to know Bear pretty well. My favorite Bear story took place in my first round at CEDA nationals in 1999, which was at Southern Illinois. My partner (Nick Hesterberg) and I walked into the room, the other team had already arrived. Bear was judging. We greeted everyone, and during our introductions, he mentioned very loudly that he thought our case was non-topical. The other team immediately changed its strategy, and ended up going for topicality. I subsequently learned that Bear had been assigned the strategy for our aff, and was convinced it was non-topical. Nonetheless, in giving his decision, (for us), Bear said "I think they are non-topical, but they beat you pretty bad on topicality."

He was a tenacious, crazy guy with a passion for debate. Although I hadn't seen him for years, I corresponded a bit with him via facebook about his health issues. It is really impressive to me to see all of the posts about Bear, I guess I never realized how significant he was to so many people. I will miss him, even now I am missing the daily barrage of ancient aliens and pro-democrat posts popping up in my facebook feed.
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