1989 All-American Bowl: 28 years later
It was just a brief 28 years between bowl game appearances for the Duke Blue Devils. Finally, in 1987 Steve Spurrier began his head coaching career by taking over the Duke program and quickly led the team from a 4-7 record in 1986 to an 8-4 campaign in 1989 capped off by an appearance in the All-American Bowl.
Sadly for Blue Devils fans, the 49-21 All-American Bowl loss to Texas Tech was the final game that Spurrier ever coached in Durham. He was poached by Florida and between his time at Florida and eventually South Carolina, went on to win 11 bowl games between 1990-2015. Meanwhile, Duke appeared in just five over that span with only one win.
Spurrier was replaced by Barry Wilson, who immediately sank the program back to 4-7 in 1990.