- Position: Coach
- School: Nebraska
- Years: 1973-1997
- Inducted: 1998
- Place of Birth: Hastings, NE
- Date of Birth: Feb 23, 1937
Member BiographyTom Osborne grew up in Hastings, Nebraska. He was
all-state in football and basketball, won the state
discus throw in track, and was named the state's High
School Athlete of the Year in 1955. He attended
Hastings College, where his grandfather, class of
1901, and father, class of 1930, had graduated.
He was in the class of 1959, quarterbacked the
football team and was named the state's College
Athlete of the Year.
Osborne played three years of pro football as a
flanker for Washington and San Francisco.
He joined Bob Devaney's staff at Nebraska in 1962
and for 11 years was graduate assistant, receiver's
coach, then offensive coordinator. In that time he
obtained a master's and a doctorate in educational
psychology. He became head coach in 1973, retired
after the 1997 season, and set these marks:
25-year record, 255-49-3, percentage .836 -- highest
percentage of any active coach in division 1-A.
25 bowl games.
13 conference championships.
3 national championships. (1994, 1995, 1997)
Record 60-3 last 5 years.
Coach of the Year, 1994.
Coached 46 Academic All-Americans, a record.
Had graduation rate of 84 percent among his players.
3-0 record in Kickoff Classic.
There were big wins in a 13-0 season in 1997 -- 69-7
over Oklahoma for Osborne's 250th career victory;
54-15 over Texas A&M for the Big 12 playoff;
42-17 over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. And there
was a close 45-38 overtime win over Missouri.
Osborne served his community. He taught Sunday school
at a Methodist Church, he made speeches for the
American Heart Association and the Fellowship of
The National Football Foundation gave him its
Distinguished American Award in 1995. The governor
of Nebraska designated January 1998 as "Tom Osborne
Month" in the state.
Tom and his wife Nancy formed the Osborne Foundation
to assist youth education. The northwest pillar of
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium carries this inscription:
"Courage, generosity, fairness, honor -- in these are
the true rewards of manly sport." Osborne echoed this
in his book, "More than Winning." He wrote: "Success,
as far as I'm concerned, cannot be measured in terms
of wins. It's more than winning. To make an effort
to win in a manner that reflects well on the university.
That has a positive effect on young people."
Osborne was born Feb. 23, 1937. He was 60 when