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Huskers93-97

Respect for Devaney

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I never had any reason to go back and look into what Devaney inherited before he took over. But with the last 20 years of Husker coaching changes and everyone debating what each coach inherited as a reason for why they did or did not succeed. I thought it was interesting to see what Devaney inherited and it gave me an even greater respect for the job he did. Pretty amazing actually. The 5 years prior to Devaney arriving Nebraska won a total of 15 games. With the best season being 4 wins- so we were consistently a horrible program. With Devaney the turnaround was immediate with a 9-2 record in year 1 and 10-1 record in year 2. In the middle of his tenure he had 2 back to back seasons of 6-4 then he took off again with 9-10 every year with 2 Natty's. 

 

His wins and losses at Wyoming prior to coming here were decent but nothing amazing. Does anyone know why we targeted him as the coach? Did he have Nebraska ties.

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24 minutes ago, Huskersince62 said:

Athletic director Tippy Dye had tried to hire Duffy Daugherty from Mich State..he turned the job down  but recommended former assistant who was currently at Wyo  Bob Devaney...do not believe Devaney had any ties w/ Nebr.

Good info. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Huskersince62 said:

Athletic director Tippy Dye had tried to hire Duffy Daugherty from Mich State..he turned the job down  but recommended former assistant who was currently at Wyo  Bob Devaney...do not believe Devaney had any ties w/ Nebr.

Daugherty was actually the third coach approached by Tippy  and I believe Devaney actually originally declined as well.

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Bill Jennings, the coach Devaney replaced was actually a pretty good recruiter.  He just wasn't a very good coach. Devaney said as much when he got here.  There was actually a good amount of talent on the team he inherited.  

 

Yes Devaney did turn down the Nebraska job at least once.  Back in 1962 Wyoming was actually considered a pretty good job. The had quite a bit of success in football throughout the 50's and 60's.  

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I read somewhere that Devaney was a much more strict disciplinarian than Jennings - demanded a very high standard of the team where Jennings never did. Jennings also made some questionable decisions that sowed doubt within the fans and even the team. 

 

One example was in 1961, before we played #7 Colorado, the field was already in pretty bad shape before the snowy/muddy Saturday game. This was because Jennings insisted on practicing the week prior on the game field, I guess, to be protected from the cold winds they would face on the practice field. The stadium-keeper expressed his displeasure on the torn up field that would only get worse during the game, and Jennings said, "What do you want, a good field or a good team?' The grounds-keeper replied, 'It's a damn fine note when you don't have either one' of Jennings 3-4-1 '61 record. 

 

Devaney just didn't deal with any Mickey Mouse crap. By the first game in '62, it was apparent things had changed, and for the better. “In contrast to the con­fu­sion which has appeared to keep the Corn­husker bench in turmoil during recent seasons, all was in order and business­like.  … Players remained on the bench instead of roaming the side­lines. Devaney gave the orders and his assistants carried them out. The new coach spoke to the players as they left the field – a word of encourage­ment, advice or an occasional verbal whip.” 

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18 minutes ago, NUinID said:

Bill Jennings, the coach Devaney replaced was actually a pretty good recruiter.  He just wasn't a very good coach. Devaney said as much when he got here.  There was actually a good amount of talent on the team he inherited.  

 

Yes Devaney did turn down the Nebraska job at least once.  Back in 1962 Wyoming was actually considered a pretty good job. The had quite a bit of success in football throughout the 50's and 60's.  

 

Wish I could remember Wyoming having success...

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35 minutes ago, WyoHusker56 said:

 

Wish I could remember Wyoming having success...

 

I bet in the late 60s when Devaney left, all the Wyoming fans were all mopey about their struggles to regain relevancy, but all the chit-chat in saloons and via pony express and such was that they needed to give their new coach more time to bring in his own recruits. 

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Going way back even further than Devaney Nebraska was pretty good up through the early forties--a few dominant years mixed in with mostly good seasons and a few bad seasons.  (Wiki tells me this.)  But from about 1942 until Devaney arrived in 1961 the Huskers were mediocre at best.  Since WWII we've had two decades of mediocrity followed by four winning decades during the Devaney/Osborne eras.  And recently we've been mediocre to s#!tty for nearly two decades now.  We're about due to start winning again.  Someday.  

 

The thing is, all great programs go through periods of mediocrity.  Sometimes long periods.  Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas--just look back at their historical records.  They've all suffered through s#!tty periods.  But eventually they each found the right coach and stuck with him long enough to emerge from their droughts of craptitude.  That's what we need to do right now.  Have patience.  

 

/gets off soapbox.  daydreams about Husker dominance in the 1990s.

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    With the success that Devaney had here at Nebraska and the culture he instilled in the program during his time here, one might wonder if things might have changed if he did not become AD after his time as coach.  This is just a hypothetical because of what we have seen since Osborne retired in 97.  If Osborne would have became the AD after like Devaney things could have been completely different then they are now.  Nebraska did win 9 games a season and make it to 2 title games with TO as AD.  Its all what if, but one has to wonder if the how the program would have looked if Osborne doesn't completely step away until 2008.  This just seems interesting to me because of having Frost as our coach now and trying to bring us back to national relevance, and because of what Wisconsin has done with Alvarez as the Coach and AD.

 

    

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57 minutes ago, Clink-beard said:

    With the success that Devaney had here at Nebraska and the culture he instilled in the program during his time here, one might wonder if things might have changed if he did not become AD after his time as coach.  This is just a hypothetical because of what we have seen since Osborne retired in 97.  If Osborne would have became the AD after like Devaney things could have been completely different then they are now.  Nebraska did win 9 games a season and make it to 2 title games with TO as AD.  Its all what if, but one has to wonder if the how the program would have looked if Osborne doesn't completely step away until 2008.  This just seems interesting to me because of having Frost as our coach now and trying to bring us back to national relevance, and because of what Wisconsin has done with Alvarez as the Coach and AD.

 

    

Its probably safe to say if Osborne was there he would have given Solich more time.

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2 minutes ago, Huskers93-97 said:

Its probably safe to say if Osborne was there he would have given Solich more time.

Maybe even Pelini if he wouldn't have retired and hired Eichorst.  

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4 minutes ago, Huskers93-97 said:

Its official we can now blame Callahan and Riley on Osborne 

I was being hypothetical but we can play the blame game like some fans always want to do

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What has stood out to me with both Devaney and Osborne, is they were both willing to look "outside the box" and try some things which were not too common during their eras.  From going towards strength and conditioning, to nutrition, to sports psychology, to the types of systems they ran to even bringing in Prop 48 guys, they figured it out.  They figured out you could win at Nebraska and do it consistently.  I don't think too many people would not like to see that today, but you may need to think outside of the box to be different, to be unique, to be something that works here and be the best at it.  I am not sure what edge we can get in this era, but the groundwork has been set in the past that it can be done here.  

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