Former Husker Dennis Claridge, who quarterbacked Nebraska to a 13-7 Orange Bowl victory again Auburn in the 1963 season under second-year head coach Bob Devaney, died Tuesday after a three-year battle with bladder cancer. He was 76.
The 6-2, 220-pound Claridge led Nebraska to a 9-2 record in Devaney’s first season in 1962, and a 10-1 record in 1963. He led the Huskers to their first ever bowl win, which was a 36-34 victory in the Gotham Bowl over Miami in New York City.
Claridge was also the starting quarterback when Nebraska’s current sellout streak began in a homecoming game against Missouri in ’62.
Claridge joined the Green Bay Packers in 1964, where he was a member of the 1965 NFL Championship. He was selected in the 1966 expansion draft by the Atlanta Falcons, and eventually returned to Lincoln to become an orthodontist.
A member of Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Claridge served there as an usher and a communion assistant. He was also on the church council, stewardship committee, and he was a capital campaign chairperson. Claridge also helped with Meals on Wheels, Teammates and the Honduras dental team.
Claridge is survived by his wife of 54 years, Rhoda, three grown children and several grandchildren. Services will be held at 10:30 on Saturday morning at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln.