The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on January 18, 1972 · Page 13
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · Page 13

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 18, 1972
Page 13
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rwesaoy, January 10, tit inc i.imcmim star 1.1 'ONE MORE YEAR-BUT THAT'S IT' Devaney Cites Ordinary Fans, Recruiting Commitments In Decision By HAL BROWN Star Sports Editor Nebraska football coach Bob Devaney had a telegram and a phone call from Gov. J J. Exon and he had a conversation with NU Chancellor D. B. Varner after in dicating last week he was thinking of stepping down as the Husker football boss. But in announcing Monday that he would remain at the Husker helm for one more year before retiring to become a full-time athletic director Devaney said the ordinary football fan had as much to do with his decision as anyone. In his opening remarks before a full-house noon news conference in NU sports information director Don Bryant's office, Devaney had said, "'Since indicating that I was considering retirement, I have had quite a few requests to - ' 1 fflfl HKfli raj M m Br -HSHHsHD STAFF PHOTOS BY WEB RAY DEVANEY'S DECISION . . . Devaney reveals his decision, listens to a question, and answers it. SPORT SIGNALS k v By Hal Brown Sports Editor, The Star Decision Pleases Players . . . OSBORNE TERMED GOOD CHOICE AS SUCCESSOR Primarily, It's Ironic Some have called it a hagedy Some hae called it a snamc Some, whese vocabulaiy ln I Idi 14c enough to include those two words. hac called it othei tmngs I1. at cant be punted 111 a family nevvspapei c can recall nothing in oui 10 yeais at Ihe Nn 1 spoils desk at this newspaper that hat, bi ought more telephone calls, both in number and in degree of ouliage. than last week's announcement out of Hollywood, Fla . brought. But we would not put the fact that Bob Devaney was aqain shunned by his fellow coaches in the Coach of The Year balloting in the tragedy class Nor would we classify it in the obscene eategoiv in which some chose to do c might put it in the Shame calcgoiv But we really think it belongs in a category stamped "Iionic " The thing that makes it ironic is the icason Bob Dcvanev was not named Coach of The Year in 1971 And the reason he was not named Coach of 'the Year in 1 D70 Calling The Game Off Early The thing that makes it iionic is that they called the game off with time still left on the clock Some of Bob Devaney's greatest triumphs as Nebrasks's head football coach came m the closing minutes of the game, triumphs he could never hae enjoved had the officials blown the whistle with five or ecn with three minutes remaining and said. "That's all, the game's oer " Had the officials clone that a vcai ago in the Orange Bowl, Nebraska woulrin t hdc beaten LSI! and thus would never hae won that fust national championship m the school s they done it in this yeai s Oklahoma game, the Huskcrs unbcalen smug would have ended and they'd have had no further chance to win a second national championship And you can pick out other games of slightly lesser importance in his NU coaching career that would have wound up with him explaining why the Huskers lost rather than telling writers in those post-game sessions why they had won. The North Carolina State game of 1962. the Minnesota game of 1961, the Coloiado game of 1956, and the Kansas game of 1969 all went into the Husker victory column because those games wcte scheduled for 60 minutes and officials let them go for 60 minutes Coaches Blew Early Whistle The explanation as to why Bob Devaney was not named Coach of The Year in either 1970 01 1971 is a very simple The American Football Coaches Association simply blew the whistle ending the ball game before the entire 60 minutes had been played. No one. not even Bear Bryant's mother, Charlie MeClen-don's wife or Darrell Royal's uncle, would aigue about Bob Devaney's deserving the honor the past two years after his coaching triumphs in the Orange Bcwl that gave Nebraska a national championship both yeais But the coaches took their vote with time still showing on the clock. They voted in late November or e a r 1 y December. None of those coaches who voted would agree that the Nebraska-Oklahoma game should have been called off with the Sooners leading by 31-28 or that the Nebraska-LSU Orange Bowl game a year ago should have been called with LSU leading 12-10. Yet that's exactly what they've done the past two years in their Coach of The Year poll they've voted with time left on the scoreboard clock Wouldn't it have been just as tragic, or fhose who want to use that word, or just as shameful had the coaches voted Bob Devaney Coach of The Year, then had Alabama's Bear Bryant win the Orange Bowl? At the time they voted, they had no idea which team uld win in the Orange Bowl. The tragic thing is not that Bob Devaney was not named Coach of The Year The tragic thing is that the coaches continue to insist on Inking the vote br-fmc the game is Bv MARK GORDON Star Sports Writer Futuie Coinhuskcr football players were as unanimous in then pleasuie that coach Bob Devaney will guide the 1972 learn as they wcic in their praise of Tom Osborne. Devancv. 111 a Monday press conference, announced he would coach NU for ono more season and tabbed offensive end coach Osborne as his choice to succeed him in 1973. T kind of thought he d stick aiound foi another season," said slotback Johnny Rodgers 'f really wasn't surpnsed 1 hat he made that decision I was just hoping he'd still be coaching in mv last a ear "' The junior from Omaha Tech said Osboine, who joined Devaney's staff as a graduate assistant in 1962, was "a fine choice " "He'll do a great job,'' Rodgers predicted. "I was thinking either coach Selmer (offensive line coach Carl) or coach Osborne. I think everybody when they get the chance will tun things their own way. I dont think there'll be much change in the way he (Osborne) will run things." Rodgers recuperatirg from a short stav at an Omaha hospital for surgerv on his right thumb, said he was feeling line and ready for his last NU football campaign 'He's the type of person that would try for something special like that (seeking a thud stiaight national championship,' said junior Tight end Jeny list 'You bet, I'm h2ppy he decided to stay on another year " Although List said he wasn't surprised at Devaney choosing Osborne as his successor, he said any of the assistant coaches would have been capable replacements. 'Coach Osborne has been initiating a few new ideas in the Nebraska offerse," List added, ' He's an intelligent man and I m sure he'll do a g:od job ' Sophomore cornerback Randy Borg said he had guessed that the Deavaney era would end after the 1972 football season "1 sort of guessed that this would be his last year coaching from things he said during the season," the Alliance native says, 'Like he said he wouldn't come back to Norman (Okla.) as a coach again.'' Borg, in piaising Osborne as a fine coach'", said knowing that this year will end Devaney s coaching reign at NU, will provide an incentive for this season's squad "It will be an incentive to me personally and to the entire team he's (Devaney) just been great to us it will add to our attitude and efforts this season," Borg said ' We'll try as hard as we can to keep that national championship " Terming Osborne a "fantastic coach," junior defensive end John Hyland said he thought Devaney was trying to set the stage for 1972 with the early announcement of his luture plans. "I thirk lie was tiying to get the state ready to accept his decision and also to give coach Osborne a little publicity," nerback Joe Blahak said he was ''very happy" that he would slay on and I m real glad that he will ' Carpenter To Sponsor Naming Of Fieldhouse By The Associated Press Sen Terry Carpenter promised Monday to sponsor a lcsolution in the legislature asking that the proposed University of Nebraska fieldhouse be named after NU football coach Bob Devaney Carpenter's promise of a rsolution was made after the Unicameral received a letter from Gov J. J. Exon including the proposal on the naming of the fieldhouse and suggesting that Devaney be named "as the No. 1 football coach of the universe." Funding for the fieldhouse was provided when the 1971 legislature passed LB87, raising Uhe cigarette tax five cents to 13 cents per pack and earmarking a portion of tne funds for the fieldhouse In response to Exon's request that a public hearing be held on the resolution, Carpenter suggested such a hearing could be held on a Saturday in the NU Calling Osborne a ' logical choice" to replace Devaney, Hyland added that 'I m suic he's learned a lot from Devaney but a problem will be in tiying to keep the assistant coaches. 1 hope they stay, but you never know " Although not surprised by Devaney's decision, (unior cornerback Joe Blahak said he was 1 very heppy" that he woul finish playing under Devaney ' At first when he said he was thinking about retiring, I thought he might quit this season but I'm ovcily happy that he didn t quit now," the Columbus native said 'Coach Osborne is an exceptional football coach who 1 m sure will do a good job ' 'But regardless of who is coaching, I'm sure the playeis will try their best, ' he added Maury Damkroger. a sophomore fullback, called Osborne a fine coach who's done a great job: "Everybody wants him (Devaney) to stay on," the Lin-colnite said ' But some of Ihe things coach Osborne has come up with in d'agiams and plays in the pi ess box are just unbelievable It think everyone feels coach Osborne will do a great job " -Isii'iP' if &m DEVANEY'S CHOICE . STAR PHOTO . . Osborne. remain as head football coach at Nebraska " Asked to name some of the people making such a request, Devaney gave primary credit to the average fan. "I had a lot of letters from the ordinary football fan which probably was the most important," he pointed out. "I talked to Chancellor Varner and to Gov. Exon and they both said they would respect my wishes, either w a y. I appreciated that." But the nation's most successful coach with a tecord of 127 wins, 28 losses and six ties for a winning percentage of .819 in 15 years emphasized that 1972 would be his last "Next fall will be it win, lose or draw but we are certainly planning on it being 'win'," Devaney asserted. "And if I get to thinking next year about continuing, I hope you remind me of what I said." In an obvious move to provide a smooth transition when he steps down as the head football coach, Devaney Monday named Tom Osborne, a member of his staff since he came to Nebraska in 1962, as assistant head coach, a title no one has ever held in the Devaney set-up. Devaney kept the coupie of dozen writers, sportscasters and photographers waiting for nearly 15 minutes past the 12 o'clock time for which the press conference was scheduled. "After two weeks of serious thought, I have arrived at an answer," he began. "I'm not sure it's the right one, but with one more year on my contract, I have decided to fulfill that contract." The announcement sent radiomen and wire service reporters scurrying for telephones. "I will remain through 1972, but that definitely will be it," Devaney added. "And it will not depend on what kind of season we have. After 1972, I hope I will be able to remain as athletic director." The coach, who has won 92 games while losing only 18 and tying one in 10 years at Nebraska, said there were several factors involved in his decision "One of the factors was that I had made commitments to some or the players when we were recruiting them," he pointed out. "Another factor was the challenge of trying to win another national championship. "That we can win a third straight national championship is improbable, but not impossible No one has ever done that, but I'd like to be a part of trying to accomplish it." Asked if he might consider leaving Nebraska for something higher up, Devaney asked the inquisitor, "What do you mean by higher up'" When the questioner explained that he was referring to pro football, the Husker coach allowed. "I don't consider the pro- higher up. "I have considered the pros, but I have no ambitions to go into pro football. However, if someone made me a good enough offer, I would listen, at least " In naming Osborne as assistant head coach, Devaney said he would recommend when he steps down that Osborne be named head coach "All I can say is that I'll recommend him," Devaney asserted. "The naming of a coach is up to the Board of Regents, the chancellor and the president- "I haven't discussed it with the Regents I have discussed it with Chancellor Vainer and with the faculty committee cn athletics ' Devaney also emphasized that his naming of Osborne to the position of assistant head coach would not change either his duties or the duties of his assistants as fai as the coaching of the football team is concerned. "I will still be the head coach," he noted, "And we'll operate the same as we've been operating. There's no reason to change a successful format. "But I have made numerous commitments for clinics and banquets that will keep me busy during this important recruiting season and Tom will be making some decisions on recruiting that I normally would make." The Devaney Record Year School W L T Pts. Opp. 1957 Wyoming 4 3 3 1J9 135 1958 Wyoming 8 3 0 195 136 1959 Wyoming 9 1 0 287 62 1960 Wyoming 8 2 0 212 71 1961 Wyoming 6 1 2 171 74 1962 Nabraska 9 2 (1 293 161 19G3 Nebraska 10 1 0 273 114 1964 Nebraska 9 2 0 253 85 1965 Nebiaska 10 1 0 349 129 1966 Nebraska 9 2 0 223 118 1967 Nebraska 6 4 0 127 83 1968 Nebraska 6 4 0 155 161 1969 Nebiaska 9 2 0 254 119 1970 Nebraska II 0 1 426 189 1971 Nebraska 13 0 I) 507 104 1972 Nebraska Totals 127 28 8 3869 1741 Sports Menu Tuesday Wednesday BASKETBALL Stole Colleges Fairhury JC High, Omaha Coliseum ' to allow everyone to come who wanted to " Before such a resolution Is passed, however, Exon should address the legislature and reveal his plans for fieldhouse construction, said Omaha Sen. Duke Snyder. "I took considerable heat in my district" for LB87 and a speech by Devaney to the legislature before the bill passed, Snyder explained, "and I think we should ask the governor over here to discuss what the compicmisc is he is considering." Carpenter said he would take "sole responsibility for inviting Mr. Devaney to appear before us last year and 1 put this body in the position of not saying 'no ' " Referring 10 Snyder's proposal. Sen. William Hasebroock of West Point suggested "everyone will have a chance to be heard" when the resolution is introduced Nixon Says Nebraska 'Best Ever' President Nixion believes Nebraska s national chumoion football learn to be the best college team ever He said so in a letter to Cornhuskcr Coach Bob Devaney. "When t presented the No 1 plaque to you as the coacn of the No. 1 team in 1971 I called it a great team," Nixon wrote "After seeing your 1972 team against Alabama I would have to say it's the greatest team 111 college football history." Mr. Nixon said he had read that Devaney had never been rained coach of the year. "What is important," he wrote, "is that you have coached the team of the year." The letter was postmarked Jan. 7 and was .availing Devaney on his weekend return to Lincoln a f I 0 r oul-i folate travels. Heir Apparent To NU Job A 10-Year Devaney Trainee . . . OSBORNE JOINED STAFF IN 1962 The man who has been tapped by Nebiaska football coach Bob Devaney as the man he wants to succeed him at the head of the Husker coaching reins in 1973 nas gained all h's coaching experience under Dev ancv Tom Osborne, who was named assistant head coach by Devaney Monday and Devaney's recommended choice to succeed him when he steps down after the 1972 season, began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Devaney when Devaney came to Nebraska from Wyoming in 1962. While serving as a graduate assistant, Osborne worked on his Doctor of Philosophy degree and divided time between coaching and teaching educational psychology in the NU Teachers Cllego As a full-time Husker assistant, he has Iven in charge of the offensive ends and receivers Osborne, who neither drinks nor smokes, started n Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at NU and raav be one of the best conditioned com lies in (he college rankv running as much as three to five miles nearly every day. quarterback at Hastings High School and Hastings College and a flanker for three years with the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins in the National Football League, Osborne was the fust Nebraska collegian to be named the Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star's State College Athlete of The Year as a junior ui 1958 and the only athlete ever to win the honor twice when he repeated in 1959 He was a three-sport star both 111 high school and college, lettering four yeais in football, basketball and track at Hastings College and playing baseball in the summer months. The .'M-year-old roach is still about as trim as when he was carrying 190 pounds on his 6-3 frame as a collegian at Hastings. Tom was the third generation of Osbornos to star at Hastings College His grandfather, Thomas, captained Ihe 1900 football team and hib lather, Charles, played there in the laic 1920s

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