Dan Devine (Coach, 1958-70)
Three Orange Bowls? One losing season in 13 years? At Mizzou? That's what Dan Devine accomplished in Columbia, but it only tells part of the story.
Here are Devine's season-by-season records at Mizzou: 5-4-1, 6-5, 10-1, 7-2-1, 8-1-2, 7-3, 6-3-1, 8-2-1, 6-3-1, 7-2, 8-3, 9-2, 5-6. Not bad at all.
Using today's general scheduling practices (a.k.a. more games, easier non-conference slates, nobody passes on bowl bids) and the fact that there are no ties now, here's what his records may have looked like in today's times: 8-5, 9-4, 12-1, 9-4, 11-2, 10-3, 9-4, 11-2, 9-4, 10-3, 10-3, 11-2, 7-6. Playing in today's times would have given him about 116 wins instead of 92, about seven seasons with double-digit wins instead of two. Despite not winning a national title, Mizzou was a member of the top tier of college football in the 1960s, and Devine was the reason why.
Reading his wonderful Simply Devine, it is startling how humble and grounded Devine stayed at all times. That is a quality ingrained in many of the great players/coaches we have honored in this Wall of Excellence series (from Don Faurot to Roger Wehrli to Jeremy Maclin). They love/loved Mizzou and represented the university with complete class. Yes, Devine left to take over for Vince Lombardi in Green Bay, then coached for six years at Notre Dame (winning a national title in 1977), but he was a True Son at heart, returning to serve as Missouri's athletic director years later. He had such an impact as a coach and administrator that we didn't even waste the time putting him up for a vote. He belongs on the wall, and everybody knows it.