Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne

College coach infobox
Name = Tom Osborne


ImageWidth =
Caption =
Title =
College =
Sport = Football
Conference =
CurrentRecord =
DateOfBirth = birth date and age|1937|02|23
Birthplace = Hastings, NE
DateOfDeath =
Deathplace =
OverallRecord = 255-49-3
Contract =
BowlRecord = 12-13-0
TournamentRecord =
CFbDWID = 1796
Championships = National: 1994, 1995, 1997
Conference: 1975, 1978, 1981-1984, 1988, 1991-1995, 1997
Awards = 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)
Nebraska's College Athlete of the Year (1958, 1959)
Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame (1994)
Nebraska's High School Athlete of the Year (1955)
CoachingRecords =
Player = Y
Years = 1956-1959
1960-1961
1962
Team = Hastings College
Washington Redskins
San Francisco 49ers
Position = Quarterback (College)
Wide Receiver (NFL)
Coach = Y
CoachYears = 1964-1968
1969-1972
1973-1997
CoachTeams = Nebraska (offensive asst.)
Nebraska (OC)
Nebraska
FootballHOF = 1999
CollegeHOFID = 80020
BBallHOF =

Thomas William "Tom" Osborne (born February 23, 1937 in Hastings, Nebraska) is the Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska. He was the head coach of the Cornhuskers football team for 25 years (1973-97), succeeding Bob Devaney. After coaching, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000 and served six years in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican from Nebraska's 3rd congressional district.

Early life

Born and raised in Hastings and St. Paul, Nebraska, Osborne graduated from Hastings High School in 1955, the same year he was awarded the Nebraska boys high school athlete of the year award by the Omaha World Herald. He then stayed in town to attend Hastings College. He graduated with a B.A. in history in 1959, then played three seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. [http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=OSBORTOM01]

He earned his M.A. in educational psychology from Nebraska in 1963 and a doctorate in educational psychology there in 1965. He also served in the Nebraska National Guard from 1960-66.cite web| title = Veterans in the US House of Representatives 109th Congress| publisher = Navy League| url = http://web.archive.org/web/20070626235918/http://www.navyleague.org/legislative_affairs/HouseVets.pdf| format = PDF| accessdate = 2006-12-09 ]

Coaching career

In 1964, Osborne joined the Cornhusker coaching staff as an unpaid offensive assistant to head coach Bob Devaney. His only compensation was being able to dine at the athletic training table. After two disappointing 6-4 seasons in 1967 and 1968, Devaney named Osborne as offensive coordinator for the 1969 season. Osborne immediately overhauled the offense, switching to a balanced attack from the I-formation. The revamped offense sparked the Huskers to a share of the national title in 1970 (placing first in the Associated Press poll, but second in the UPI poll, which awarded first place to Texas before they lost to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl) and an outright national title in 1971.

Devaney stepped down as head coach after the 1972 season to concentrate on his duties as athletic director and named Osborne to succeed him. Osborne remained as coach until the end of the 1997 season, serving for most of that time as his own offensive coordinator.

Legacy

In his quarter-century as head coach, Osborne was a model of consistency. His teams never won fewer than nine games in a season, finished in the top 15 of the final AP poll 24 years out of 25 (having finished 24th in 1990), and were ranked in every single weekly AP poll barring one week in 1977 and two in 1981. Osborne's teams won two outright national championships (1994 and 1995) and a share of another (1997). Osborne's Huskers also won 12 Big Eight Conference titles and one Big 12 Conference title. His 255-49-3 record gave him the best winning percentage (83.6%) among active NCAA Division I-A coaches at the time of his retirement and the fifth-best of all time. As of 2006, only Joe Paterno has reached 200 victories in fewer games. But Osborne, who went on an NCAA record 60-3 run over his final five seasons, won 250 games faster than any coach in Division I-A history.

Osborne's teams were known for their powerful rushing attack and strong defense. The defense--also known as the Blackshirts--refers to the black jerseys that are worn in practice by the defensive starters and certain selected special teams players. Nebraska led the nation in rushing several times in the 1980s and 1990s, due to the efforts of men like Jarvis Redwine, Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, Calvin Jones, Ahman Green and Lawrence Phillips. After struggling to defend Oklahoma's wishbone option in the 1970s, Osborne switched from a balanced attack to an option offense in 1980 in order to utilize the versatility of dual-threat quarterbacks, such as Turner Gill, Tommie Frazier, and Scott Frost.

Entering the 1984 Orange Bowl game, the Cornhuskers were 12-0 and ranked #1 in the country for the entire season. In the Orange Bowl, Nebraska scored a late touchdown against the then #5 ranked University of Miami to narrow the score to 31-30. Rather than attempt an extra point to finish with a tie, Osborne opted to attempt the 2-point conversion and go for the win. However, Gill's pass attempt was batted away in the end zone, giving Miami the victory and the national championship.

In 1993, the Huskers again narrowly lost a national championship. Having gone into the game as a 17-point underdog to Florida State, Nebraska fought back from a 15-7 deficit to take a 16-15 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the Orange Bowl. After Florida State drove to retake the lead 18-16, Nebraska managed to hit a quick downfield pass as time ran out in order to get one last field goal attempt, which sailed wide. It was the last bowl game Osbourne ever lost. The next year, however, Osborne earned his first title as head coach, defeating Miami in the Orange Bowl. The Huskers, who initially trailed, rallied to win 24-17. The next year, the Huskers roared through the regular season, stayed atop the rankings for all but one week, and defeated Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl, earning Osborne his second national championship. The 1995 team was voted as the greatest college football team of all-time in an ESPN poll. [http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/alltimeNCF/bracket?lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1]

Osborne announced his retirement as head coach late in the 1997 season, selecting Frank Solich, his longtime running backs coach, to succeed him. In his final four years, Osborne's record was a staggering 49-2 (.961), the strongest finale to any coaching career in college football history.

Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2000, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, ESPN honored Osorne as the coach of the decade for the 1990s. [ [http://media.www.dailynebraskan.com/media/storage/paper857/news/1999/12/13/Sports/Espn-Honors.Osborne.As.coach.Of.The.Decade-1735080.shtml ESPN honors Osborne as 'coach of the decade' - Sports ] ] This honor is even more impressive considering the fact that he did not coach for 20% of the decade. In a 2007 online ESPN poll, Osborne was voted the "greatest college football coach of all time". [ [http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/specialsection/citirosebowl/2007/sendFriend Greatest College Football Coach of All Time] ] Osborne was chosen as the 2008 recipient of the American Football Coaches Association's (AFCA) highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award for the highest distinction in service to others.

Head coaching record

CFB Yearly Record Subhead
name = Nebraska
startyear = 1973
conf = Big Eight Conference, Big Twelve Conference
endyear = 1997
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1973 [ [http://huskerpedia.com/1970s.html HuskerPedia Nebraska Cornhuskers results 1970–1979] ]
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–2–1
conference = 4–2–1
confstanding = 2T ‡
bowlname = Cotton
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 11T
ranking2 = 7
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1974
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 5–2
confstanding = 2T ‡
bowlname = Sugar
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 9
ranking2 = 8
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1975
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 1T ‡
bowlname = Fiesta
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 9
ranking2 = 9
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1976
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3–1
conference = 4–3
confstanding = 4T ‡
bowlname = Bluebonnet
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 7
ranking2 = 9
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1977
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 5–2
confstanding = 2T ‡
bowlname = Liberty
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 10
ranking2 = 12
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1978
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 1T ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 8
ranking2 = 8
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1979
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 2 ‡
bowlname = Cotton
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 7
ranking2 = 9
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1980 [ [http://huskerpedia.com/1980s.html HuskerPedia Nebraska Cornhuskers results 1980–1989] ]
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 2 ‡
bowlname = Sun
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 7
ranking2 = 7
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1981
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 9
ranking2 = 11
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1982
name = Nebraska
overall = 12–1
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 3
ranking2 = 3
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1983
name = Nebraska
overall = 12–1
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 2
ranking2 = 2
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1984
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 1T ‡
bowlname = Sugar
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 3
ranking2 = 4
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1985
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 2 ‡
bowlname = Fiesta
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 10
ranking2 = 11
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1986
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 5–2
confstanding = 3 ‡
bowlname = Sugar
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 4
ranking2 = 5
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1987
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 2 ‡
bowlname = Fiesta
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 6
ranking2 = 6
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1988
name = Nebraska
overall = 11–2
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 10
ranking2 = 10
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1989
name = Nebraska
overall = 10–2
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 2 ‡
bowlname = Fiesta
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 12
ranking2 = 11
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship =
year = 1990 [ [http://huskerpedia.com/1990s.html HuskerPedia Nebraska Cornhuskers results 1990–1999] ]
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 5–2
confstanding = 3 ‡
bowlname = Citrus
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 17T
ranking2 = 24
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1991
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–2–1
conference = 6–0–1
confstanding = 1T ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 16
ranking2 = 15
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1992
name = Nebraska
overall = 9–3
conference = 6–1
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 14
ranking2 = 14
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1993
name = Nebraska
overall = 11–1
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = L
bcsbowl =
ranking = 3
ranking2 = 3
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = national
year = 1994
name = Nebraska
overall = 13–0
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 1
ranking2 = 1
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = national
year = 1995
name = Nebraska
overall = 12–0
conference = 7–0
confstanding = 1 ‡
bowlname = Fiesta
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 1
ranking2 = 1
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = division
year = 1996
name = Nebraska
overall = 11–2
conference = 8–1
confstanding = 1 ◊
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 6
ranking2 = 6
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = national
year = 1997
name = Nebraska
overall = 13–0
conference = 8–0
confstanding = 1 ◊
bowlname = Orange
bowloutcome = W
bcsbowl =
ranking = 1
ranking2 = 2
CFB Yearly Record Subtotal
name = Nebraska
overall = 255–49–3
confrecord = 161–24–2
‡ Big 8 Overall ◊ Big 12 North DivisionCFB Yearly Record Subtotal
name = Bowl Record
overall = 12-13-0
CFB Yearly Record End
overall = 255–49–3 |
bcs = no
poll = two
polltype = Coaches Poll (started in 1950)

Athletic director

Osborne and the 1997 national championship team were the guests of honor at the Huskers' 2007 Homecoming game on October 13. Just two days after the resulting 45–14 loss to Oklahoma State – Nebraska's worst home loss since being shut out 31–0 by Missouri on November 1, 1958 – athletic director Steve Pederson was fired. On October 16, 2007, Osborne was announced as the interim Athletic Director following Pederson's departure [cite news | title=Osborne named interim athletic director | publisher=Lincoln Journal Star | url=http://journalstar.com/huskerextra/football/doc4715087394349202795479.txt | accessdate=2007-10-16 | date=2007-10-16 ] . On November 24, 2007, Osborne fired Head Football Coach Bill Callahan following a 5-7 season. During the period of time when Nebraska had no head coach Osborne appointed himself the interim head coach so that he could perform recruiting duties while remaining in compliance with NCAA rules. On December 12, Osborne named Bo Pelini the new head coach of Nebraska.

On December 19, it was announced that Osborne would remain as athletic director through June 30 2010, effectively moving him from interim status to permanent. Osborne will be paid $250,000 per year and will manage Nebraska's 23-sport program. [cite news | title='Interim' label dropped as Osborne agrees to lead department into 2010 | url=http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=3161634 | publisher=ESPN | author=Associated Press | accessdate=2007-12-19 | date=2007-12-19 ]

Political career

Infobox_Congressman
name =Tom Osborne


width = 150
date of birth= birth date and age|1937|02|23
place of birth= Hastings, Nebraska
occupation= football coach
alma_mater= Hastings College, University of Nebraska
residence= Lemoyne, Nebraska
state = Nebraska
district = 3rd
term_start = January 3 2001
term_end = January 3 2007
preceded = Bill Barrett
succeeded = Adrian M. Smith
party = Republican
religion = Methodist
spouse = Nancy Osborne|

House of Representatives

Early in 2000, Osborne announced that he would run in Nebraska's 3rd District as a Republican. He had grown up in Hastings, one of the largest cities in the sprawling district, and claimed a home in Lemoyne, near North Platte, as his district residence. However, he hadn't lived regularly in the district since at least 1964; for most of that time he'd lived in Lincoln, the heart of the 1st District. Nonetheless, due to his wide popularity in the state, he easily won the Republican primary, which was tantamount to election in what has long been one of the most Republican districts in the nation. He breezed to victory in November with 83 percent of the vote. He was reelected with no major-party opposition in 2002 and against an underfunded Democrat in 2004.

In Congress, Osborne's voting record was moderate to conservative. He garnered a lifetime rating of 83 from the American Conservative Union.

At one point, Osborne teamed up with Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, normally his political adversary, to oppose efforts to expand gambling in Nebraska. [http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:4lBFtwbARJUJ:www.gamblingwiththegoodlife.com/P16.pdf+%22damage+from+casinos+would+be+long+lasting%22+tom+osborne&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3]

2006 governor's race

In 2006, Osborne ran for Governor of Nebraska, challenging Governor Dave Heineman and Omaha businessman Dave Nabity in the Republican primary.

Osborne was initially thought to be the favorite in the race, given his tremendous popularity in the state. However, Heineman took 49 percent of the more than 197,000 votes cast while Osborne took 45 percent [http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/washington/politics-nebraska.html] .

The Lincoln Journal Star analyzed the race:

While Osborne captured populous Omaha and Lincoln, Heineman sealed his victory in rural counties and key population centers in western and central Nebraska’s critical Republican battleground....
...it was the political impact of two gubernatorial vetoes that appeared to lift [Heineman ] into a late surge, especially in Osborne’s congressional district.
Heineman’s opposition to Class I rural school reorganization and the granting of resident college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants cut into Osborne’s support.
Osborne declined to sign referendum petitions seeking voter repeal of the rural school legislation and said he would have signed the resident tuition bill." [http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2006/05/10/elections/2006/may/doc446141c0eec15506554528.txt]

However, the prospect of running against the still-popular Osborne caused many top-tier Democrats to pass on the governor's race, and may have helped Heineman win election in November by a 73 percent margin, one of the largest margins for a gubernatorial race in Nebraska history.

External links

* [http://www.sportspublishingllc.com/book.cfm?id=849 "Heart of a Husker: Tom Osborne's Nebraska Legacy" by Mike Babcock, published by Sports Publishing L.L.C., 2006]
*CongBio|O000165
* [http://www.collegefootball.org/famersearch.php?id=80020 College Football Hall of Fame: Tom Osborne]
* [http://www.huskerpedia.com/osborne.html Huskerpedia: Tom Osborne]
* [http://www.vis.org/candlist/Candidates.aspx?pid=261 2006 Nebraska CD 3 Candidate List from VIS]
* [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/o000165/ Voting record maintained by the Washington Post]

References


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