In his quarter-century as head coach, Tom Osborne never won fewer than nine games in a season. His 255-49-3 record gave him the best winning percentage (83.6%) among active Division 1-A coaches at the time of his retirement and the fifth-best of all time. During his last five seasons, the Huskers went 60-3 and won three national championships. In the fall of 2007, after serving three terms in Congress and making an unsuccessful run for governor of Nebraska, Osborne returned to the university as athletic director.
A star quarterback and basketball player at Hastings (Neb.) College, Osborne received his bachelor's degree in 1959 and played two seasons as a flanker with the Washington Redskins and one with the San Francisco 49ers. In 1962, he became a graduate assistant on the staff of new Nebraska coach Bob Devaney. Osborne received his master's degree in 1963 and his doctorate in educational psychology in 1965. In 1967, he became NU's full-time receivers coach. He was elevated to assistant head coach in Devaney's last season, 1972, and became head coach in 1973. During Osborne's tenure, NU players earned all-America honors 55 times and academic all-America honors 46 times. In December 1978, he gave serious thought to becoming Colorado's coach but turned down the offer.
Osborne (pronounced OZ-burn, not OZ-born) was born Feb. 23, 1937. He and his wife, the former Nancy Tederman, have a son and two daughters. The Osbornes' Husker Teammates program matches Nebraska football players and mentors in the community with local junior high students in a big brother/big sister relationship. Tom and Nancy Osborne received the 1995 Father Flanagan Award for Service to Youth.
There is an online companion to "Coach Osborne: More Than Winning," a documentary that aired on PBS on Jan. 1, 1999. You can order the documentary on DVD.
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Misc. & politics
'94 poster, The spectator, New routine 1998, NFF&C Hall of Fame (1, 2), CFB Hall of Fame (1, 2), Amos A. Stagg Award, Daily Nebr'n profile, Itch to coach, The candidate (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Campaign website.