July 20, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Bar is Set
Having enjoyed success as a football program from 1950-56 under coaches Bowden Wyatt and Phil Dickens, Wyoming then looked to Bob Devaney to continue the momentum and take the program a step further. In doing so, he became the winningest coach in UW history.
UW turned to Devaney in 1957, an up-and-coming assistant from Michigan State. Starting with a roster missing former stars Jim Crawford, Bob Mirelski, Ova Stapleton and John Watts, Devaney's first team in 1957 earned a respectable 4-3-3 mark. Led by captain Dale Memmelaar in 1958, the Cowboys earned an 8-3 mark that included wins over Denver, Oregon State, Colorado State and BYU and ended with a 14-6 Sun Bowl win over Hardin-Simmons. The Pokes went 9-1 in 1959 captained by Len Kuczewski, 8-2 in 1960 led by Mark Smolinski and 6-1-2 in 1961 with Bob Bisacre and Chuck Lamson as captains.
Devaney, who completed his tenure with the best winning percentage in school history at 35-10-5 (.750) from 1957 to 1961, led the Cowboys to four Skyline Conference championships in five years, a 1958 Sun Bowl win and was a two-time Skyline Coach of the Year.
His athletes also performed well in class, with Marty Hamilton being named UW's first Academic All-American in 1959 and Pat Smyth achieving NFF Scholar Athlete honors the same year. The program had its first War Memorial Stadium sellout in the 1959 game versus Air Force with a crowd of 20,257.
Devaney was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
About the #120CowboyTough Countdown
The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.
The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.
Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.
Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.
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