ASU Coaching Legend Dan Devine Passes Away
May 9, 2002
Dan Devine, a football coaching legend at Arizona State, Missouri and Notre Dame, passed away today (May 9) after a long illness.
Devine, 77, began his head coaching career at ASU, where he was hired in 1955 at the age of 31. In his inaugural season, the Sun Devils accomplished a record of 8-2-1. While a magnificent debut, incredibly the .772 winning percentage would be Devine's worst as the Sun Devil coach.
In 1956, ASU improved to 9-1, suffering its only defeat to UTEP by a score of 28-0. Save that loss, the Sun Devils never scored fewer than 19 points that season, while allowing only two other teams into double-figures.
The following season (1957), Devine's Sun Devils recorded the first perfect season and national ranking in ASU history, finishing 10-0 in a year that included four shutouts (Devine's Sun Devils had nine in his career) and only one game decided by fewer than double-digits (35-26 win over Hardin-Simmons).
After the '57 season, Devine packed up his 27-3-1 (.887) record and moved on to Missouri where he would remain until 1970. Back at ASU, Devine was replaced by Frank Kush, who, just three years after receiving his first ever coaching opportunity from Devine, began what would be 22 memorable seasons at the helm of Sun Devil football.
Despite his accomplishments at ASU, Devine's 13 seasons with the Tigers of Missouri were altogether finer. Going 93-37-7 (.700) over that span, Missouri never lost more than three games in a single season while accumulating victories in the 1961 Orange Bowl, 1963 Bluebonnet Bowl, 1966 Sugar Bowl and the 1969 Gator Bowl.
After his term at Missouri, Devine enjoyed a stay at the professional ranks, serving as head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers from 1971-1974. Of those seasons, the Packers' finest was 1972, when they tallied a 10-4 record en route to the Central Division title and Coach of the Year honors for Devine from Pro Football Writers and UPI.
Devine returned to the collegiate ranks in 1975, enjoying his final coaching years at Notre Dame. Called upon to replace Hall of Fame coach Ara Pareghian, the Fighting Irish went 53-16-1 (.764) over Devine's five seasons. Most memorable was the 1977 team (11-1), which knocked off previously undefeated Texas 38-10 to earn a national championship at the Cotton Bowl.
After resigning from coaching duty in 1980, Devine made his return to ASU as the executive director of the Sun Angel Foundation where he remained for seven years. In 1987 he left the Sun Angels, but not the university, accepting a position to direct an upstart ASU program designed to combat substance abuse.
Devine returned to yet another of his former schools in 1992, when he succeeded Dick Tamburo as the athletic director at Missouri, a position he would entertain until his retirement at the conclusion of the 1993-94 academic year.
Devine, born December 23, 1924, and a native of Augusta, Wis., was elected into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1985 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1987. He earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Michigan State and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1948.
Devine's wife Joanne (Brookhart) passed away on December 19, 2000. They were married in 1947. They are survived by seven children - Jennifer (Husain) and Dan, Jr. (he's football coach at Rock Bridge High School), both living in Columbia, Mo.; Mary Jo (Carver), Diana, Sarah (Avery) and Jill, all living in the Phoenix area - and Lisa (Creagan) of Decatur, Mich.
Devine Collegiate Coaching Timeline1955-1957: Head Coach, Arizona State (27-3-1, .887)1958-1970: Head Coach, Missouri (93-37-7, .700)1975-1980: Head Coach, Notre Dame (53-16-1, .764)Career Collegiate Coaching Record: 173-56-9, .746