Bill Jennings (American football)

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Bill Jennings
Bill Jennings (American football).jpg
Jennings from 1960 Cornhusker
Biographical details
Born(1918-03-13)March 13, 1918
DiedJune 8, 2002(2002-06-08) (aged 84)
Lawrence, Kansas
Playing career
Position(s)End, wingback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1941Cushing HS (OK)
1947–1953Oklahoma (backfield)
1956Nebraska (backfield)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall15–34–1 (college)

William Arlen Jennings (March 13, 1918 – June 8, 2002) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from 1957 to 1961. He coached the Nebraska Cornhuskers for five losing seasons, compiling a 15–34–1 record (.310). His best seasons were 1959 and 1960, when the Huskers were 4–6 in each year. His conference record was 8–24 (.250) and his Husker teams never won more than two conference games in a season.

Among Jennings's most notable upsets was the ending of Bud Wilkinson's 74-straight conference victories. The Cornhuskers beat the Oklahoma Sooners, 25–21, at Nebraska's 1959 homecoming game on Halloween. Jennings followed up a second consecutive win the following year with a 17–14 victory in Norman. The 1959 win was the first for Nebraska since 1942, and the 1959 and 1960 wins were the first consecutive victories over the Sooners since 1939 through 1942.[1]

After a 3–6–1 season in 1961, Jennings was succeeded by Bob Devaney, who had been successful with Wyoming. Devaney immediately turned the Nebraska program around, winning with numerous players recruited by Jennings. The 1962 Huskers went 8–2 in the regular season and won the Gotham Bowl, Nebraska's first bowl game appearance in eight years and the first of 41 consecutive winning seasons.

Jennings died on June 8, 2002 at the age of 84 at his home in Lawrence, Kansas after suffering from prostate cancer.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Seven / Big Eight Conference) (1957–1961)
1957 Nebraska 1–9 1–5 7th
1958 Nebraska 3–7 1–5 6th
1959 Nebraska 4–6 2–4 6th
1960 Nebraska 4–6 2–5 T–6th
1961 Nebraska 3–6–1 2–5 T–6th
Nebraska: 15–34–1 8–24
Total: 15–34–1


  1. ^ ESPN Classic: Oklahoma vs. Nebraska -- Series record
  2. ^ "Bill Jennings: Football coach at Nebraska who snapped Oklahoma streak". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 12, 2002. Retrieved September 22, 2010.

External links[edit]