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  • Dave Humm and the Husker Greats Foundation

    Dave Humm is the answer to the trivia question of "Who was Bob Devaney's last quarterback and Tom Osborne's first quarterback." I first came into contact with Dave when I was doing interviews to promote a fund raiser for an ambulance in Western, NE in 2004. I do most of the interviews over the phone but I was going to be in Las Vegas and asked Dave if we could do the interview in person while I was in town. To my surprise he denied my request. When I asked why he said he didnít like people to see him in his current condition in a wheelchair and wanted to be remembered more for his playing days. I respected his privacy and we did the interview over the phone.

    After the interview Dave and I kept in touch by email and phone. Next to Vince Ferragamo, Dave was Momís favorite Husker quarterback. They had many long conversations on the phone and reminisced about Daveís playing days in the 70s and the current Husker team.

    Dave is a former player that I pay a signing fee for autographs to resell. I approached him about signing Nebraska logo footballs and he invited me to bring them to his house. What an honor to be invited to his house when he hadnít allowed former Raider and Husker teammates to visit for many years. My wife Donna and I got that honor and have been to his house on future visits.

    Because of his Multiple Sclerosis he has had ongoing health challenges for 24 years. In August of 2011 he developed pneumonia and was hospitalized and spent time in rehab centers for several months. He now requires daily home health care that is not covered by insurance. When I approached Dave about organizing a fund raiser to raise money by directing HuskerMax visitors to send him money to a PayPal account he again refused. He didnít want a handout.

    I rephrased the proposition to help cover his medical bills by organizing a non-profit organization modeled after Mike Ditkaís Gridiron Greats for former NFL players in financial need due to circumstances beyond their control. I introduced Dave to the administrators at Gridiron Greats and they have helped him financially but not near enough to cover his home health costs. After considering my proposal Dave agreed to lend his name to support the proposed non-profit and become one of the first recipients.

    Once I got Daveís permission my next phone call was to someone that I knew could help me make that happen. That person was Jerry Murtaugh. I explained to Jerry what Daveís financial stress situation was due to his medical bills and Jerry took about two seconds to say yes. That was in January of 2012. The non-profit has been legally formed with the help of Tim Clare, a Lincoln attorney and the son of team physician Pat Clare. They have a board of directors that includes Jerry and six former Husker players representing many sports. The non-profit has the support of Tom Osborne and the University and has the name of Husker Greats.

    The only other college foundation to support former players that I am aware of is associated with the University of Alabama. What is unique about this foundation is that it is not just for UN-Lincoln athletes. It is available to any letter winner from any university or college in Nebraska. We are all huge Husker fans and a lot of us, myself included, went to school somewhere besides Lincoln while rooting for the Huskers. Dave Humm will be the first recipient but future recipients could be from UNL, UNK, UNO, Chadron State, Wayne State, Peru State, etc. if there is a need. This is truly a foundation for athletes the entire state of Nebraska thanks to efforts so far of a small group of former Husker athletes.

    Please do your part by making a donation to help a former Husker or Loper or Bobcat or whoever the mascot is and give back a little to all the great sports memories made in the state of Nebraska. The web site is Do the right thing and make a donation today.

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Thanks for the update, Max. JPS
    1. Javed's Avatar
      Javed -
      TG is not a good head coach at the BCS level. If his teams' had shown any competitiveness over the last two years, he would still have a job. The fans had given up after sieneg historic (even by KU standards) losses, the inability to hold a lead, too many stupid penalties & decisions to count, and a HC who talked about his team's positives as if the negatives didn't exist. He started out a press conference by noting the ways that the team had improved by saying that they lead the league in net punting as his first point. You lost your audience after saying punt and he doesn't connect to the fans. Staying positive is great but being that way to the point of delusion isn't. He lost his first game to a DII school and his team looked fat & out of shape doing it. The coach that he replaced had a winning record so that's what people expected especially if you are going to be paid like a top coach. I'm sure that the contract that he got exceeded his expectations and very few people turn money down but when you sign that type of contract, expectations come with it. I'm sure that the school would prefer not to pay $6M to make him leave but they were going to lose much more than that via tickets and other revenue if he stayed. If he's so good at teaching the option, why didn't he try to run it at KU? He is the head coach and could run whatever offense that he wanted. He had a fairly highly recruited dual threat QB that he announced as his starter his first year and benched him after a half before switching him to receiver. He then played the pro style QB with no mobility nearly every game after that including all the blow outs this year. He'd didn't even try to fit his personnel to what he knew best. He had one winning season at Buffalo (8-6) but didn't prove that he could win consisently as he had losing seasons in his other three years.The AD that hired Gill is gone but the chancellor who approved his hiring and the firing is the same. The AD couldn't do this without her buy in. The chancellor could have kept him around another year but she choose not to so you can't say it was just due to the AD wanting his own guy. KU is better off making this decision, which is why that it was made. It wasn't to stick it to a NE guy or anything like that. His playing at NE helped him get hired but didn't mean anything at the end. The world or even the football world doesn't revovle around NE. Sorry to break that news to some of you. If Gill had been a KU alumn, it might have mattered but beyond that he could have played his college ball anywhere else and the result would be the same.Great man, great father, great husband, good recruiter, good assistant by most accounts, and I wish him well in the future, but he's out of his league being the head guy. He will never be a head coach at a BCS school again.
    1. Shabaz's Avatar
      Shabaz -
      Hard to compare dinefreft sports head coaching abilities, but it would appear to me that the style of Coach Sadler's BB teams, leaves every bit as much to question as Turner Gill's FB program. With a new arena about to open, I will go on record to say that a team that scores 55 points against the 11th ranked team in the ACC, will never draw 10,000 fans, no matter howfancy the arena. Doc simply cannot coach winning basketball, period. It is sad to say, but to compete in the NCAA in BB, we need to have a prima donna mentality coach with no observable recruiting scruples. Doing it the right way, is not aviable option at this level. Bill Self is showing that with the one and dones and not meeting elgibilty requirements, but winning every year. Much less about coaching, and completely about your padding the payments of the AAU daddies thatdirect where the young boys are going to go. You need look no farther than Souix City (better yet South Souix City) to see the people that control recruiting. It blows my mind to think that NU doesn't have any scholarship BB players from Nebraska,yet CSU, Iowa, Minnesota, and likely others are winning with this talent.
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