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Bob Devaney


Robert Simon Devaney

Inducted 1981

Date of Birth



Saginaw, MI


University of Nebraska (1962-1972)

University of Wyoming (1957-1961)


Bob Devaney arrived at Nebraska in 1962 at a crucial time. The school had seen only three winning seasons in 21 years. Devaney coached 11 years. He produced 11 winning seasons, nine bowl games, eight conference championships, two national championships (1970,1971), a 32-game unbeaten streak, a 101-20-2 record. His first team in 1962 went 9-2 and won the Gotham Bowl over Miami of Florida 36-34. His last three teams (1970-72) were in three Orange Bowls, beating Louisiana State 17-12, Alabama 38-6, Notre Dame 40-6. His 1971 team was sometimes called the greatest in college history. The Cornhuskers went 13-0 and scored 511 points. Their 35-31 victory over Oklahoma was named Game of the Century. Nebraska increased its stadium capacity from 34,000 to 72,700 and filled it for every home game. An indoor arena was built and named Bob Devaney Center. He served as director of athletics 1967-93. Nebraska, which had been last in all-sport rankings in the Big Eight, moved to first and had one of the nation's most successful programs. Devaney put heavy emphasis on the women's teams. Robert S. Devaney was born in Saginaw, Michigan. He finished high school and worked three years in a factory, then entered Alma College. He played end on the football team. Devaney coached 14 years at four Michigan high schools with a record of 85-21-3. He was assistant coach 1953-56 at Michigan State. Then came five years (1957-61) as head coach at Wyoming with a record of 35-10-5. He retired after the 1972 season. His career record was 136-30-7. His winning percentage was .806, first among active coaches in 1972. Upon his death in 1997, the Nebraska State Legislature passed a resolution honoring his "contribution to the University and the state." A tribute to Devaney was read at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington. His most famous quote came after a 1970 game. His team trailed Kansas 20-10 and came back to win 41-20. He told his players, "You learned you can come back. Remember that. That is the lesson of life."


Wins 136

Losses 30

Ties 7

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