Bill Ring was a fullback for the 49ers from 1981 to 1986, and perhaps an early prototype for the sort of role Rathman and Floyd would play in the 49ers offense later on, catching a fair number of passes while blocking and rushing on occasion. Soon after Bill Walsh died, Ring looked back on those years: “It was a lot of fun. . . . I owe my career to Bill Walsh because he’s the one who really discovered me back in ’81. It really was a one-day tryout and he saw something in me that other people didn’t see. I am just very thankful for what he did in my life.”
Ring, Mike Wilson, Tom Holmoe, Keena Turner, and Guy Benjamin all served as coaches on Walsh’s Stanford teams of the early ’90s. In 1992, Holmoe said: “Sometimes, Bill will say: ‘Remember that defense we ran against the Saints in ’84? That’s what I’m looking for.’ And, boom, we know what he wants to do.” Stanford won 10 games that year.
Ring’s now an investment manager in central California. He said this about seeing Walsh just a bit before Walsh’s death: “He was not in great shape, but he was still cracking jokes.”