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April 13, 1915 -- May 9, 1997
NU head football coach, 1962-1972
101-20-2 record at Nebraska
Eight Big 8 championships
Two national championships
NU athletic director, 1967-1992
College Football Hall of Fame inductee

To understand what Robert S. Devaney did for Nebraska football, one must look at the state of the program he inherited in 1962. It was, undeniably, one of the worst in the nation. The Huskers had managed just three winning seasons since 1940 and were mired in the bottom 10 in winning percentage during that stretch (.368). And there were no signs of a turnaround. In the five seasons leading up to his arrival, NU posted a 15-34-1 record, with more than a third of those losses coming by shutout. In only four games during that five-year stretch did the Huskers ring up more than 17 points. Dismal stuff indeed.

Then along came Bob. His first team went 9-2, including a Gotham Bowl victory over George Mira and the Miami Hurricanes. Suddenly, Nebraska football was fun to watch: Point production was nearly triple what it used to be, and every game was a sellout. Soon, NU would be a contender for national titles.

Seven years after his arrival, Devaney engineered another transformation. After back-to-back 6-4 seasons in 1967 and ’68, he realized his offense had fallen behind the times. At the suggestion of his assistant Tom Osborne, he switched to an I formation with an un­bal­anced line. Again, the results were immediate -- a 9-2 season in ’69, and national championships in ’70 and ’71.

Devaney played end at Alma College in Michigan (class of ’39). He coached high school football in Big Beaver, Keego Harbor, Saginaw and Alpena, Mich., before joining Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty as an assistant at Michigan State. From there, he became head coach at Wyoming in 1957.

Coaching record
YearSchoolW-L-TPct.  Bowl
1958 Wyo 8-3-0 .727 Sun
1959 Wyo 9-1-0 .900 
1960 Wyo 8-2-0 .800 
1961 Wyo 6-1-2 .788 
  Wyo. totals 35-10-5 .750 
1962 Neb 9-2-0 .818 Gotham
1963* Neb 10-1-0 .909 Orange
1964* Neb 9-2-0 .818 Cotton
1965* Neb 10-1-0 .909 Orange
1966* Neb 9-2-0 .818 Sugar
1967 Neb 6-4-0 .600 
1968 Neb 6-4-0 .600 
1969** Neb 9-2-0 .818 Sun
1970*+ Neb 11-0-1 .958 Orange
1971*+   Neb 13-0-01.000 Orange
1972* Neb 9-2-1 .792 Orange
  Neb. totals 101-20-2 .829 
Career totals 136-30-7 .806 

  *Big 8 champions | **Big 8 co-champions | +Natl. champions
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