Sun Devil Summer School: The Coaches - Dan DevinePosted: Updated:
His tenure may not have been very long, but Dan Devine's impact at Arizona State continues to resonate to this day.
During his three seasons in Tempe, Devine posted the high winning percentage of any coach in school history, and more importantly, helped to usher in the golden era of Sun Devil football.
A native of Wisconsin, Devine was a standout collegiate athlete, captaining both the football and baseball teams at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His time there was interrupted by his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II, in which he was a flight officer on a B-29.
Following his graduation in 1958, Devine became a head coach at a high school in Michigan before accepting an assistant coaching job at Michigan State. During his five seasons in East Lansing, he was part of the 1952 national championship team.
Just 31, Devine already had an impressive coaching resume that caught the attention of Arizona State, who made him their head coach in 1955.
The success was immediate.
Taking over for the a program coming off a 5-5 season, Devine's Devils went on to set a school record with eight wins in his first year. He would then break that record a year later, as ASU improved to 9-1.
But like any great legend, Devine saved the best for last.
In 1957, Devine guided ASU to a perfect 10-0 record and their first national rankings, and they did it in utterly dominating fashion.
The Sun Devils outscored the opposition by an astounding 397-66 margin. The defense recorded four shutouts, and only allowed a team to score in the double-digits twice (26 to Hardin-Simmons and 13 to Montana State).
Yet it was the offense that stole the show. They topped 40 points six times, including the final four games, and had a season-high 66 against San Diego State. ASU's 39.7 points-per-game led the nation and set a school record, that now stands fourth all-time.
With a 27-3-1 (.887 winning percentage) on his resume, Devine caught the attention of Missouri, who extended him an offer to become their head coach.
Leaving the ASU program in the soon-to-be legendary hands of his assistant Frank Kush, Devine accepted Missouri's offer in December of 1957, where he stayed until 1970, where he racked up a 92-37-7 record and four bowl wins, including Sugar, Orange and Gator Bowl titles.
He then moved to the pro ranks, taking over in Green Bay Packers. However, the same success he found in the college game did not make the trip north with him, and Devine posted a pedestrian 25-27-4 record in four years. However, he did win an NFC Central title in 1972 by going 10-4, and took home the Coach of the Year award from the UPI.
It was then that Devine got a second chance at an old opportunity. Once a candidate at Notre Dame in 1964, Devine took over in South Bend for his final six years in coaching. He led the Fighting Irish to the 1977 National Championship, and finished with a sterling 53-16-1 record.
Following his coaching career, Devine returned to Tempe to lead up the Sun Angel Foundation for seven years, and later led an anti-drug program for the university. He then served as Missouri's athletic director for two years.
Among his many honors, Devine was elected into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1985 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1987.
He passed away in 2002.
Devine's 1957 Sun Devils