FORMER NOTRE DAME COACH DEVINE PASSES AWAY AT 77Dan Devine, who coached Notre Dame to a national championship after beating Texas 38-10 in the 1978 Cotton Bowl, died Thursday at the age of 77.
After four seasons as head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers, Devine took over at Notre Dame in 1975, replacing Ara Parseghian. In just his third season as head coach, Devine led the Irish to a national title.
Going into the 1978 Cotton Bowl, Texas had a strong hold on the the No. 1 ranking with an unblemished record. When it came time to tender bowl invitations, fifth-ranked Notre Dame, without hesitation, turned down all others to come to Dallas with the avowed intention of beating the Longhorns and propelling themselves to yet another national championship. Notre Dame's strategy paid off.
Despite Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell's 116 yards rushing, the Irish forced six Longhorn turnovers, converting the miscues into a 24-3 halftime lead. Notre Dame never looked back, and when the game was over, the two teams virtually traded places in national rankings.
The Irish returned to the Cotton Bowl the next season. Behind an ill Joe Montana, they rallied from a 34-12 deficit in the final 7:37 to beat Houston, 35-34.
Devine, who had been ill for some time, underwent quintuple bypass surgery last February in Mesa, Ariz., and had post-surgery complications and did not recover well, according to his family.