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Bob Devaney To Be Immortalized By Statue At Memorial Stadium

Jon Johnston



Two days before Nebraska hosts Wyoming in the season opener for both football teams, Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst announced Thursday that he has commissioned a statue of Hall-of-Fame Football Coach and former Husker Athletic Director Bob Devaney. The statue will be installed in the new East Stadium Plaza which serves as the doorstep to a 52,000 square-foot research facility, 38 new suites, 6,000 new seats and a graphic-rich tribute to Nebraska football tradition inside the historic gate 20 entrance.

The life-sized bronze statue of Devaney, sculpted by Omaha artist Joe Putjenter, will be unveiled Friday at 4 p.m. in a brief ceremony open to the public. Mike Devaney and Rob Devaney, Bob's respective son and grandson, will attend Friday's dedication and share their thoughts, along with Eichorst, Tom Osborne, Nebraska's former head coach and athletic director, and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman.

"This is Memorial Stadium's 90th anniversary season, and we wanted to recognize the man who's widely considered the one who really built this stadium from the 36,000-seat facility it was when he arrived in Lincoln in 1962," Eichorst said. "With the stadium's anniversary, the dedication of the expanded East Stadium and the fact that Wyoming and Nebraska were the only two schools that Bob Devaney ever served as head football coach, we thought this was the perfect time to honor his tremendous legacy."

What else can you say about this but that it's about time it was done. Perhaps younger fans don't remember or don't exactly know who the Bobfather is (and here's what you need to know), but let's just say that he's been worthy of his own statue for quite some time. The only likeness of Devaney currently at Memorial Stadium is the plaque in the photo above, and that's just not right for the man who started Nebraska football on the course that it's on today.

The Bob Devaney of legend was quite a bit different person from that of Tom Osborne. Osborne is renowned for his stoic nature. Devaney was known as a "man about town" (as Mike put it in the article above), his fiery Irish temper, his choice use of "manly" words from time to time, and his raucous sense of humor.

Right now, the big question is - what will his statue look like?

Will it present a glossed up vision of what we expect from coaches these days or will it reflect the true nature of Devaney much like the statue of Woody Hayes that was unveiled by Ohio State this past year?

Will it present Nebraska with a new tradition, as our own Salt Creek And Stadium stated on twitter today?