Skip links

Bob Devaney Got Marv Levy Hired

The Game Before the Money Podcast spoke with Marv Levy about getting the head coaching job at the University of California with the help of Bob Devaney. — in Episode 10 of the football history podcast. 

Marv Levy Coach at New Mexico

Marv Levy served as an assistant football coach at New Mexico starting in 1954. His college coach, Dick Clausen, was hired as the head coach at New Mexico and brought Levy with him. Levy later grabbed the head coaching position at New Mexico in 1958.

Bob Devaney Recommends Marv Levy for Head Coach at Cal

Back then, New Mexico was a member of the Skyline Conference. The University of Wyoming was also a member of the Skyline Conference, and their team featured Bob Devaney at head coach. Those of you who are regular listeners to the podcast have heard a lot about Bob Devaney and his stellar career at the University of Nebraska in the Tom Osborne Part 1 episode of the Game Before the Money Podcast.

When Bob Devaney and Levy were coaching in the Skyline Conference, Devaney was destined for later greatness at Nebraska. Devaney won two national championships as head coach of the Cornhuskers.

Embed from Getty Images

Before Devaney accepted the job at Nebraska, the University of California also offered him a head coaching position. Devaney, of course, chose Nebraska, but he didn’t leave Cal out in the cold. He recommended his Skyline Conference counterpart, Marv Levy. In 1960, Marv Levy became head coach of the University of California.

Two Coaching Legends Cross Paths

Cal offered Coach Devaney the head coaching spot while he was at Wyoming. Coach Levy told The Game Before the Money that wasn’t the only offer on Devaney’s table. “Bob was also offered the same head job at Nebraska. He thought he had a better chance of winning there and was right. But he said (to Cal), ‘You ought to look at that coach at New Mexico.'”

Coach Levy also noted the camaraderie in the Skyline Conference at the time. “We were on very good terms with Wyoming in New Mexico. We were the two best teams, probably, in those couple of years, even though Utah State had Merlin Olsen on their team. Bob and I were on good terms, and unbeknownst to me, he recommended me. And I’m very complimented and grateful.”

Embed from Getty Images

Coach Levy and Coach Devaney, two coaching legends crossing paths in history.

Looking for a great NFL history book? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL available at — Amazon.com – Barnes and Noble – University of Nebraska Press

Like sports history? Listen to The Game Before the Money Podcast! Most episodes include stories from legendary football stars.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.