LINCOLN — The newest member of Nebraska's football administrative staff has spent more than three decades in NFL front offices. But he's apparently ready for a new challenge.
Billy Devaney, a one-time St. Louis Rams general manager, has accepted a new position at NU: executive director of player personnel and special assistant to the head coach. The hiring of Devaney was announced Wednesday.
It appears he will have input in all behind-the-scenes aspects of the Nebraska program, according to a press release. He'll help craft the Huskers' player development strategies. He'll oversee their recruiting department. He'll aid coach Mike Riley with roster management and scholarship allotment philosophies.
Riley told The World-Herald Wednesday that the idea for the role came from Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst. Riley then found someone who could carry it out.
"Billy Devaney is one of the most respected executives in the National Football League," Riley said in a statement. "His wide-ranging experience on the administrative side of a football organization will have many benefits on our program here at Nebraska."
Riley and Devaney have known one another for some time.
Devaney was San Diego's director of player personnel from 1990 to 2000. Riley spent three seasons as the Chargers' head coach (1999-2001).
Devaney, as an Atlanta Falcons scout, visited Lincoln last fall. And he left with a positive impression. He said in a release that joining Riley, at a place like Nebraska, was a "no-brainer." He complimented the Huskers' facilities and the overall atmosphere.
"I have been fortunate in the NFL to be a part of 19 playoff games, four championships and three Super Bowls," Devaney said, "but this opportunity at Nebraska excites me as much as anything I have been a part of in my football career."
Devaney's first job in the industry was as an NFL scout with Washington in 1979. After his decade-long stint with the Chargers, he worked for the 49ers and Falcons. He was named the Rams' general manager in 2008.
While in St. Louis, Devaney hired coach Steve Spagnuolo and drafted quarterback Sam Bradford No. 1 overall. The Rams were 10-38 during Devaney's three seasons as general manager.
Devaney was unavailable for interviews Wednesday. He is not related to Bob Devaney, a College Football Hall of Famer who coached Nebraska's first two national championship teams.
THE BILLY DEVANEY FILE
1979-1982: Washington Redskins college scout
1983-1989: Washington Redskins pro scout
1990-2000: San Diego Chargers player personnel director
2001-2003: San Francisco 49ers pro personnel assistant
2006-2007: Atlanta Falcons senior personnel executive
2008-2011: St. Louis Rams general manager
2014-2015: Atlanta Falcons scout
Worked as an ESPN analyst in 2013 and a CBS Sports commentator in 2004 and 2005