What makes men great?

Is it success? Taking a desolate franchise coming off of a 2-14 season, with 6 head coaches in their last five seasons, to the top of the football world in three seasons and then, sustaining that success through two more championships for a total of three in ten seasons.

Is it innovation? Creating an offense based on timing and precision that by the mid 90's had been copied or used in some form by more than half the teams in the NFL, five of which won world championships.

Is it leadership? Holding the title of President, General Manager and Head Coach while molding a mix of NFL vagabonds and inexperienced collegians into the Team of the 80's and laying the groundwork for five NFL championships in a 14 year span.

Is it helping others? Having a coaching tree that consists of 28 coaches who have been, or are currently, head coaches in the National Football League and creating the Minority Coaching Fellowship program so that more minorities can get an opportunity to lead an NFL franchise.

Is it faith? Persevering and trusting a wide receiver from a small college plagued by drops during his first professional season in the NFL only to become the all-time leader in touchdowns in NFL history.

Is it vision? Entrusting an offense and franchise to a player selected 82nd overall in the 1979 draft and watching him lead the team to four Super Bowls and eventual induction into the Hall of Fame.

Is it recognition by peers? Bestowed with the nickname "The Genius" and earning first ballot induction into the greatest personal achievement the National Football League can offer, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Is it the size of the heart? Re-establishing franchises, building stadiums and maintaining friendships and bonds with players, co-workers and fans long after the limelight has dimmed while expecting nothing in return.

While all may be a factor, in the end, it may all come down to one question, are we better for having known you?

When it comes to Bill Walsh, I don't think there is any question about that.