The University of Nebraska held a press conference on Wednesday where longtime Cornhusker icon Tom Osborne announced his retirement. Osborne has been a fixture on the Nebraska sidelines for the last four decades, with 25 of those years as the head coach (1973-1997). He has served as the University’s athletic director for the last five years.
To say that Osborne is one the best to ever coach at Nebraska is an understatement. His legacy is not only one of the best Nebraska has seen, but he is held in very high regard in the college football world as a whole. He coached the Cornhuskers to three national titles and 13 conference championships across both the Big 8 and the Big XII. An Osborne-coached team never finished with less than a 9-win season, plus they finished in the top 15 of the AP poll 24 out of his 25 years. He went 255-49-3 as a head coach and has a trophy case to reflect his accomplishments:
ESPN Coach of the Decade (1999)
National Coach of the Year (1994)
Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award
Big 8 Coach of Year (1975, ’76, ’80, ’88, ’92-93, ’94)
Big 12 Coach of the Year (1996)
After retiring as the head football coach, Osborne went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. After an unsuccessful run for the governor of Nebraska, Osborne returned to the University of Nebraska to take over the athletic director position in 2007. Osborne was one of the main factors in Nebraska’s decision to leave the Big XII and move on to the B1G as well as the hiring of current coach Bo Pelini.
Osborne said during his press conference that the decision to retire had to do with his age (75):
I never want to be one of those guys where people are wringing their hands and saying ‘What are we going to do with him?
He will officially retire in January 2013 but stay on with the school to help with recruiting and the transition of his replacement.
You can’t help but respect what Osborne has done for both college football and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He won games, won championships and did it with complete class.