Fran Nagle, a two-year starting quarterback at Nebraska right after World War II, has died. He was 90.
Nagle, a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, guided the Huskers to a record of 6-2-1 in 1950, a period in program history when good seasons were rare.
He came to Nebraska before the 1949 season after playing at a two-year college in Massachusetts. His coach at that college, Bob Davis, came to NU as an assistant to Bill Glassford, and Nagle followed.
In 1950, Nagle threw nine touchdown passes, a school record that stood for 20 years. Nebraska finished 17th in the season's final Associated Press poll.
Many Nebraska fans will remember Nagle as the quarterback who handed off to the great Bobby Reynolds out of the "T" formation.
Reynolds, in a 1975 Journal Star article, described Nagle as "a fine football mind and a great field general."
Which perhaps explains why Nagle later had coaching stints at Nebraska as an assistant and for two seasons as Doane's head coach.
Nagle evidently wasn't one to use curse words.
"The strongest words he ever used were 'By George,'" the late Reynolds told the Journal Star in 1975. "I wouldn't say he was the most inspirational guy in the huddle. All he'd ever say was, 'By George, let's run this play right' if we had fouled up on the previous play."
Nagle later taught physiology at Wisconsin-Madison. He is survived by his wife, Edna, and nine children.
-- Steven M. Sipple