Pepin Remembers a Former Husker Coach

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By Randy York

Mark F. Devenney, a longtime assistant coach under Nebraska Head Track and Field Coach Gary Pepin, died recently at age 69. “Mark had been fighting through a number of health issues,” said Pepin, who will share his thoughts about Devenney in a memorial service at the temporary Newman Center at 16th and Q Streets, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 8th, on NU’s campus.

“Mark was originally from Philadelphia and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth, but had a lot of Husker in him,” Pepin said. “He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country in Vietnam. I ended up hiring him twice. The first time was in the early 1980s as an assistant coach. Mark did a nice job in both recruiting and coaching. He ended up moving to Alaska, where we recruited a couple of student-athletes, including one who became a captain on our team for a couple of years. He also coached in Southern California before returning to Lincoln.”

In his first stint under Pepin, Devenney volunteered his time to complement his teaching responsibilities for the Lincoln Public Schools. In his second stint, he went full speed as a coach. “He was a very effective coach and a very good recruiter,” Pepin said. “He loved coaching at Soldotna High School in Alaska, but he loved helping us out here, too.”

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