Bob Devany stands for everything that is Husker football .He turned a program around and led the Huskers to back to back National Championships.Devany will forever be a legend in the state of Nebraska,and remembered as not only a great coach but a great man.
Devany even played a little football in his day !
*Born April 13, 1915 -Died May 9, 1997
University of Nebraska
* Athletic Director 1967 - 1992 * Head Coach 1962 - 1972
* Won back to back National Championships in 1970 and 1971
The "Game of the Century" defined Devaney - a fiery bulldog who had the
persona to affect and inspire everyone around him. And to win.
For that, Bob Devaney was voted the No. 2 all-time greatest coach in
Nebraska athletics history by the Daily Nebraskan. His greatness and
significance to the Nebraska football program, athletic program,
university and state go well beyond the glossy 101-20-2 record he
posted from 1962-72.It went straight to the heart of the people he surrounded.
Kinney-who compared Devaney's 1968 visit to his hometown of McCook
to recruit him to "having the president of the United States come to
town" - said Devaney had a knack for inspiring his players to achieve.
"In the time and place I grew up, the head coach was the kind of guy
you revered and respected," Kinney said. "You always sought Bob's
approval. He knew the right words to say at the right time."
Devaney inspired not only 101 victories, eight Big Eight championships
and two national championships, he inspired a state full of football
fans starved for a winner.
Few could comprehend in the winter of 1962 - when the Michigan native
stepped off the train in Lincoln from Wyoming to inherit a program that
had suffered 17 losing seasons in 21 years - that he would become what
former NU Sports Information Director Don Bryant called "one of the three
most important people in the University of Nebraska's history."
Thanks to Devaney, Nebraska has a powerhouse football program that boasts
37 consecutive winning seasons, five national championships and 230
consecutive Memorial Stadium sellouts.
Thanks to Devaney, who served as NU's innovative Athletic Director from
1967-93, NU has one of the most highly-funded, best-facilitated,
most-respected and successful student-athlete programs in the nation.
And thanks to Devaney, Nebraska became known for more than just a state of open
plains and fields of corn. That "Sea of Red," of 77,000 screaming faithful on
Saturdays in the fall? The pride of nearly 2 million Nebraskans chewing peoples'
ears off about "their" football team? It all started with Devaney.
"Bob was probably the most important coach ever at Nebraska," said No. 1
Nebraska Coach and Devaney's successor, Tom Osborne.
"He turned the program around and brought it to new heights. His influence
was greater than anything I was able to contribute."
Devaney's impact was immediate.
Before he arrived, NU had trudged through several seasons of conservative,
downright boring - not to mention losing - football. So in his first game
as NU's coach, at home, Devaney called a pass on the first play. The pass
"And the whole stadium went nuts," Bryant said. "He knew what the fans
wanted and got them on his side right away."
NU won nine games in his first season and a conference championship in his
second. The next three years, Devaney contended for the national title but
fell short. However, by 1967 and '68, fans were calling for his head after
two poor 6-4 seasons.The bulldog fought back. Devaney captured the
elusive national title in 1970 and repeated the feat in '71 - beating
his old nemesis,legendary Alabama Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in the Orange Bowl,
to establish himself as a legend.
But it was Devaney's personality, not his accomplishments, that his former
players, coaches and peers will remember him by.
"He was a man of a million jokes," current NU head coach and former fullback
Frank Solich said. "You felt comfortable around him. As a player, he demanded
that you play well, but he was light-hearted in a lot of ways. He made the
One Devaney story that personified his legacy occurred in a game against
Southern California in Lincoln.
In the first half, the road team Trojans had been flagged for a few more
penalties than USC Coach John McKay believed they deserved. At halftime,
as McKay bitterly stomped toward the locker room and muttered to himself,
he felt a hand slap him on the shoulder. It was Devaney's.
McKay turned around and looked at the grinning, red-faced Irishman.
"Well, John," Devaney said rather sheepishly. "How did you like my brother's