“What Devaney did at Nebraska is mind-numbing. It was a complete transformation…Nebraska grew…to an absolute powerhouse that bestrode college football like a red colossus.” - David Israel
Bob Devaney arrived as a coach at the University of Nebraska in 1962, after the school was coming off of a long stretch of losing seasons (Huskers.com). He had previously coached as an assistant at Michigan State and as the head coach at Wyoming, where his teams did relatively well (Israel). However, at Nebraska, he made a massive impact. According to Israel in his book, The Cornhuskers: Nebraska Football, “He not only organized the team, he organized the town. He organized the state. All of Lincoln and most of Nebraska went red.”
Overall, Devaney’s win record in eleven seasons was 101-20-2, which is a .829 percent win record (Sherwood). In these seasons, he led his teams to nine bowl games and seven Big Eight championships (Huskers.com). In his last season, 1973, he led his team to an Orange Bowl victory, and then handed the coaching reins over to Tom Osborne (Sherwood). Devaney then served as athletic director until 1993 (Huskers.com).
Bob Devaney died in 1997, but his influence and leadership at the University of Nebraska has created a legacy that goes on. According to Israel, "He belongs, certainly, in the pantheon of the greats...measured against his own contemporaries, he was the best. No man can be better than that."