By Joshua Eibl
He was known for being both competitive and kind.
Mike McCoy, athletic director, spoke of the late Bruce DeHaven, alumni, about his contribution to Southwestern:
“When you talked to him, he always made you feel like you’re the most important person in the entire room, and then you’re thinking why is he asking me questions? He’s the guy who was in the NFL for 35 years and he was very caring and interested in other people.”
“Bruce DeHaven was a basketball player and never played football. When he graduated from Southwestern he became a teacher at Oxford High School and they were looking for a football coach. He jumped in and loved it,” said McCoy.
He then went to Wichita Southeast High School as an assistant. They were successful and DeHaven learned a lot from there. He got a job at the University of Kansas as a graduate assistant coach and got stuck with football according to McCoy.
James Bauer, assistant football coach, said, “He was in the NFL as a special team’s coach for 35 years and he worked really hard.”
McCoy said, “He came from a small college in Kansas where they didn’t even play football at that time and then you look at him and he’s in the NFL. Just realizing anything we do is a process and he really enjoyed the process along the way as much as he could.”
DeHaven tried to get back to Southwestern for many events. He had the right personality and work ethnic and he gained the knowledge throughout the years without playing football in college according to McCoy.
Patrick Wagner, vice president for institutional advancement, said “We have a great history at Southwestern of athletics and the folks supporting it and the DeHaven Center will be a good way to honor Mr. DeHaven.”
Wagner said that DeHaven’s college roommate, Richard Jantz, is involved with building the DeHaven Center to honor him.
McCoy said, “He really enjoyed the game and worked many years for not a lot of money in professional football just to get his chance and took it.”
“When New Mexico and Wichita State played against each other a long time ago I talked to him after the game and he was mad because they lost. That was a typical Bruce and perfectly described his obsession with the game,” said McCoy.