Sept. 4, 2008
VIDEO: Purdue Honors Former Coach Bob DeMoss
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Longtime Boilermaker Bob DeMoss was on hand today when the Purdue athletics department surprised him with the unveiling of a placard bearing his name for the offensive staff room in the football offices of the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Along with director of athletics Morgan Burke, numerous members of the Purdue athletics administration, as well as the entire current football coaching staff, were on hand for the naming honor.
"That's really nice," DeMoss said. "I'm really pleased with the honor, but that sign represents a lot of people that I worked with at Purdue over the years."
"We're truly honored to be able to name the offensive staff room for Bob," Burke said. "His passion for Purdue embodies what it means to be a Boilermaker, as there are few people that rival his service and devotion to the athletics department over the years. He was the first member of the 'Cradle of Quarterbacks' and has been an important part of our football family for more than 63 years."
DeMoss began his association with Purdue athletics as a four-year letterwinner at quarterback from 1945 to 1948, helping lead the Boilermakers to an upset of fourth-ranked Ohio State as a true freshman. He was selected by the New York Bulldogs in the second round of the 1949 NFL Draft, which included a class consisting of such legendary players as Chuck Bednarik, Doak Walker and Norm Van Brocklin. He played one season with the Bulldogs and was drafted again by the New York Giants in the 22nd round of the 1950 draft.
However, rather than continue his professional playing career, DeMoss returned to West Lafayette and accepted a position on Stu Holcomb's Purdue coaching staff, a slot he would hold in one form or another over the next 19 years. In 1970, he took over for the legendary Jack Mollenkopf as the 26th head coach of the Boilermakers. Over three seasons, he compiled a 13-18 record, which was highlighted by a third-place Big Ten finish in 1972, before moving over the administrative side as an assistant athletics director. He retired from Purdue in 1992.
Recognized as the first member of the "Cradle of Quarterbacks" at Purdue, DeMoss also had a hand in coaching future cradle members Dale Samuels (1950-52), Len Dawson (1954-56), Bob Griese (1964-66), Mike Phipps (1967-69) and Gary Danielson (1970-72).
Recently, the John Purdue Club established the Bob DeMoss Endowment which allows for those touched by "DeMo" to show their gratitude. Each year the athletics director and the head football coach will determine how to best use the annual interest from the endowment.
DeMoss still resides in West Lafayette with his wife, Janet.