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Posted 07 Dec 2001   For week ended November 30, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 30Nov01

By Kent Larsen

RM's Rose Bowl Heroics Forgotten As He Seeks New Challenge

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN -- Returned LDS missionary Darrell Bevell was once the hero of the University of Wisconsin Badgers, assaulting every school passing record and providing heroics in the Rose Bowl that gave the team its first Rose Bowl victory. But while Bevell is fondly remembered, he has left that behind for another football goal -- on the sidelines. Bevell is now an offensive assistant for the Green Bay Packers, helping that team win games in a much more inconspicuous way. And he hopes one day to be running an NFL team from the sidelines.

Bevell went from LDS missionary to become an outstanding quarterback at Wisconsin. He still holds Wisconsin records of 59 career touchdowns and 7,686 passing yards, records that aren't likely to be broken soon. But he is especially remembered for the 1994 Rose Bowl, when Wisconsin played UCLA. While the Badgers led for the entire game, late in the 4th quarter the Bruins had narrowed the lead to 14-10. Bevell, who had thrown for 2,390 yards and 19 touchdowns during the season, then surprised the Bruins by running himself on second-and-eight from the UCLA 21, scoring the touchdown that gave Wisconsin the game.

In spite of these heroics, Bevell never played in the NFL, unsuccessfully trying to make the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Raiders before becoming an Assistant Coach for Iowa State. He then was an assistant at the University of Connecticut before getting his current job with the Packers.

But, his position, offensive assistant/quality control coach, is confusing. "Not a lot of people know what that title means," Bevell admits. He actually does a little of everything to get the team ready for the next game. He breaks down film of the upcoming opponent's defense, reporting on everything from coverages to tendencies to formations. He designs playbooks for the players for each game and puts plays into a game plan sheet for the coaches.

Its not glamorous or something that puts him in front of the fans, but Bevell says he enjoys it. And, more importantly, he is learning. "It's fun. I'm learning a lot about our offense and the intricacies of the West Coast offense. And I'm learning a lot from coach Sherman and coach Rossley, two great coaches that have been in the system for a while. That helps me a lot."

Tom Rossley, the Packer's offensive coordinator, says that Bevell is a big help. "He's jumped right in with both feet and done a great job," Rossley said. "He's early to work and he's late to leave. He's eager to do it the right way. His ears are always open and he wants to get better." And, realizing that his comments will be in print, Rossley adds, "I better watch myself, though. If I say too many nice things, someone's going to scoop him up."

Bevell is aware of this also, and admits that his dream is to follow others, such as Packers coach Sherman, Philadelphia's Andy Reid (also Mormon), Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg, into head coaching positions from obscure assistant positions. Can he do it? "I hope so," said Bevell. "I'd like to continue to work my way up here. I don't know how far up I can get here, but I'd like to work and continue to see. A lot of coaches have been in this seat and gone on and done well. So I'd like to one day have the quarterbacks by myself, work up from there to a coordinator and from there to a head coach."

But for the moment, Bevell is content to stay where he is, learn, and be close to where he earned his reputation; where people remember his rose bowl heroics. If he's lucky, he might even be able to make head coach somewhere near Wisconsin, "It's fun to relive that moment because it's a special moment for the people of Wisconsin. So if I could work my way up here, that would be great."


In control: Bevell enjoys his role
Milwaukee WI Journal Sentinel Packer Plus 28Nov01 S2
By Rob Reischel: Special to Packer Plus

1994 - Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
ESPN 14Nov00 S2
By Dan O'Sullivan:


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