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Bob Devaney
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Alma
Graduating Year: 1939

One man tops the list of people responsible for the success of the University of Nebraska athletic teams–Bob Devaney. For 35 years he was the driving force behind the University of Nebraska championships, first as a Hall of Fame football coach (1962-72), then as Athletic Director (1967-93) and Athletic Director Emeritus (1993-96).

Devaney retired in 1996 and lived in Lincoln until he passed away at the age of 82 on May 9, 1997.

Although Devaney no longer has a physical presence at Nebraska, his mark will remain forever. The memories of the storybook national championship seasons of 1970 and 1971 will inspire generations of Husker fans for years to come. His commitment to building one of the nation’s best all-around athletic programs is reinforced with every athletic and academic honor earned by Husker student-athletes. And his legacy continues with the passing of each successful season.

From the time he took over athletic director duties for Tippy Dye in 1967, to his final year as athletic director in 1993, his vigor, enthusiasm and administrative excellence earned him a reputation as one of the nation’s outstanding athletic directors. Those same characteristics helped make him a football coaching legend. A 1981 inductee into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, under Devaney’s leadership Nebraska developed one of the nation’s most successful all-around athletic programs.

Devaney arrived in Lincoln in 1962, after posting a 35-10-5 (.750) five-year record at Wyoming. During his 11-year stint as Husker football coach, Devaney’s teams won 101 games, lost only 20 and tied two for an .829 winning percentage. His career mark of 136-30-7 (.806) ranked him as the nation’s winningest active coach at the time of his retirement in 1973, and he ranks 11th on the all-time list today, six spots behind the man he tabbed as his replacement, Tom Osborne. He is the only coach in NCAA Division-1A history win five consecutive AFCA Regional Coach-of-the-Year awards.

In all, his Husker gridiron teams won eight Big Eight titles and two national championships (1970, 1971) and went to nine bowl games. He wound up with three straight Orange Bowl wins, two Outland Trophy winners, a Lombardi Award winner and a Heisman Trophy winner. Twice his teams won four consecutive Big Eight titles, 1963-66 and 1969-72.

Bob Devaney Record

Year

Won

Lost

Tied

Pct.

Bowl

Highlights

At Wyoming

1957

4

3

3

.550

1958

8

3

0

.727

Sun

Skyline Conf. Champs

1959

9

1

0

.900

Skyline Conf. Champs

1960

8

2

0

.800

Skyline Conf. Champs

1961

6

1

2

.778

Skyline Conf. Champs

Totals

35

10

5

.750

Four league titles

At Nebraska

1962

9

2

0

.818

Gotham

1963

10

1

0

.909

Orange

Big Eight Champions

1964

9

2

0

.818

Cotton

Big Eight Champions

1965

10

1

0

.909

Orange

Big Eight Champions

1966

9

2

0

.818

Sugar

Big Eight Champions

1967

6

4

0

.600

1968

6

4

0

.600

1969

9

2

0

.818

Sun

Big Eight co-Champions

1970

11

0

1

.958

Orange

National Champions

1971

13

0

0

1.000

Orange

National Champions

1972

9

2

1

.792

Orange

Big Eight Champions

Totals

101

20

2

.829

Eight league titles

Overall Total

136

30

7

.806

12 league titles

Bowl Record

7

3

0

.700

Two national titles

Bob Devaney's Honors and Accomplishments

  • University of Nebraska Head Coach (1962-72)
  • University of Nebraska Director of Athletics (1967-93)
  • Two National Titles (1970-71)
  • 1981 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Only Division-IA Coach in History to Win Five Consecutive AFCA Regional Coach-of-the-Year Awards
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