College Football Teams That Had To Change Logo Or Name A Story From The Stands – What Have Former Nebraska Football Players Learned From The Game – McGinn

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A Story From The Stands – What Have Former Nebraska Football Players Learned From The Game – McGinn

Making the most of the opportunity

Nebraska wasn’t the first choice for the Chicago Mount Carmel High School star. “I was recruited by George Kelly, who coached at Marquette University,” Judge McGinn said. McGinn didn’t stay long at Marquette and was called to seminary but soon found that the priesthood was not for him.

“I sent some letters to different universities,” McGinn explained. His direct mail received a response from an old friend. George Kelly was now one of Devaney’s coaches at Nebraska. “Kelly told me they had a scholarship for me to come out.”

McGinn packed his bag and headed to Lincoln. It was 1962 and excitement was high in Lincoln. His first day at Nebraska, however, was a little stressful. “I ignored the physical stuff,” McGinn said. “I injured my shoulder in high school and needed to fix it.”

McGinn didn’t have long to feel frustrated about the problem, however. “Coach Devane came to me and told me not to worry, he will fix everything.”

“Preseason practice wasn’t as tough at Nebraska as it was in high school,” McGinn recalled. “We were allowed some rest while it was hot and they even had salt water and orange and lemon slices for us.

Regular season practices were also lighter. We didn’t do a lot of calisthenics. If you played on Saturday, you didn’t have to fumble the next week.” Football was fun for this running back now that he’s switched to offense and defense. Yes, he played on both sides of the ball.

McGinn focused on his studies and his goal of becoming a dentist. But that too soon changed. “I got a D in chemistry so I double matriculated into arts and sciences and teachers college,” McGinn explained. He was going to be a coach.

McGinn did not get a chance to go to the first bowl game of the Devaney era because he was ineligible due to a transfer. The Huskers headed to the Gotham Bowl in New York City and beat Miami 36-34 in cold weather.

The following year, he was part of an Oklahoma-style 5/4 defense. “There were five down linemen and 2 linebackers at guard,” he explained. Nebraska was also using an alternate squad system where McGinn would fill in for All-American Bob Brown.

“There were some opposing players who were happy to see me come in after facing Brown for a while.” Brown was 6′ 5″ and 270 and McGinn was right at 6′ and 205, almost the same as he is today. Not everyone on that team was a monster. There was even a tough kid from Cleveland in the backfield, Frank Solich.

McGinn went on to work on his strength and size. The famed Husker power strength program was still a few years away. “In those days there was a set of sear weights in the field house and a big bar in the basement of the coliseum,” he explained.

Excitement was building at a record pace and with it the Red Sea seats at the south end of the stadium began to spill out of the ground. “By the time I was a senior, South Stadium was done,” he recalled. Along with the new room for the faithful appeared some warm and sunny bowls. Nebraska defeated Auburn 13-7 in the 1963 Orange Bowl.

“We played Arkansas in the 1964 Cotton Bowl and held it for most of the game but they started hitting short out patterns and we couldn’t adjust,” he recalled. “I recovered a fumble but it wasn’t enough, they beat us 10-7.”

The football coach, who majored in English and philosophy, was now a Nebraska graduate. called the real world. “I went to work at the Firestone recapping plant in Aberdeen, South Dakota,” he said with a big smile. “Then I became interested in law school.”

McGinn attended law school in Nebraska and clerked for County Attorney Paul Douglas. When he graduated, he was offered a position in the state’s attorney’s office and remained there for eleven years until Governor Charles Thone appointed him to the district court.

“I hope I can do some good by trying to protect society with my justice,” he said. “I like a variety of experiences.” But one kind of experience clearly bothers him. When a young man stands before him.

If he had his way, the youth would rather stand before God, people like Osborne and Solich than before him. “Kids need supervision and attention and sometimes they don’t get it,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t have a chance.”

Retired Judge McGinn doesn’t attend all Husker home games, but you can meet him with some of his old friends. “Fred Duda and I went to a Notre Dame game and a few of us get together every summer.

“Chances are, they might be talking about getting a chance to play football for Nebraska. Bernard McGinn made the most of the opportunity.

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