Southwestern College to Recognize Bruce DeHaven

Southwestern College will celebrate the life and achievements of the late Bruce DeHaven, class of 1970, on Saturday, Sept. 23, as the SC football team hosts McPherson College.  Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

DeHavenDeHaven grew up on a farm in Trousdale and as a Moundbuilder was a basketball and track star.  Though DeHaven didn’t play the sport in college, he loved the game of football and took an opportunity to be a student manager for the Southwestern College football team.  

DeHaven began his coaching career at Oxford High School.  From there he had assistant coaching stints at the University of Kansas and New Mexico State University.  He then moved on to the United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals as a special teams coach.  After moving back to the high school ranks in the mid-1980s, he got a call from the newly-hired head coach of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, Marv Levy.

He went on to coach special teams for five NFL teams and reached the Super Bowl five times.  Along with the Bills, he coached for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, and his final position with the Carolina Panthers.  It was during his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, though, that DeHaven revolutionized the role of special teams. 

In spite of the success and accolades, DeHaven was always proud of his Kansas roots and Southwestern ties.

“He never forgot where he came from," said Richard Jantz, DeHaven’s friend since college.  “Bruce never got too big or busy to keep up with us; he was always proud of Southwestern and all of the friends he made while at SC.”

A special recognition of DeHaven will occur at halftime of the Southwestern versus McPherson game.  The presentation will be led by Southwestern College President Brad Andrews and athletic director Matt Shelton.

"We are looking forward to celebrating the lifetime achievements of an amazing man and a very special Moundbuilder," said Shelton. "Coach DeHaven was truly a teacher who cared deeply about developing players as skilled athletes and as people of great character. We anticipate a crowd of former players and friends will be at Jantz Stadium on Sept. 23 to join us in honoring him."


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