Dr. Thomas William ‘Tom’ Osborne is a former head coach of the University of Nebraska football team and is widely regarded as the best coach in American college football history. He was the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team for 25 years, succeeding Bob Devaney, who initially persuaded him to join his staff as a voluntary graduate assistant. Following that, he served as offensive coordinator for a couple seasons before being named head coach. Nebraska’s 25th Head Coach for 25 years, the longest tenure in school history is considered to be the most noteworthy achievement of his football career. The program was a success under his leadership. Under Osborne’s leadership, the Cornhuskers went 255-49-3 with a winning percentage of.836. His achievements were so admired that the National Football Foundation waived its three-year waiting requirement to induct him into the Hall of Fame in December of 1998. Following his coaching, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000, serving as a Republican from Nebraska’s 3rd district for six years.
Childhood and Adolescence
Osborne was born on February 23, 1937, in Hastings, Nebraska, and was a good athlete at Hastings High School, where he excelled in basketball and football. The Omaha World Herald named him ‘Athlete of the Year’ for Nebraska High School. Osborne, like his father and grandfather, attended Hastings College after graduating from high school. During his college years, he was a quarterback for the football team and a basketball player, and he earned a B.A. in history in 1959. After two seasons as a wide receiver with the Washington Redskins, Osborne was chosen into the National Football League.
In 1965, Osborne became a member of the Cornhusker coaching staff, working as an unpaid offensive assistant to Head Coach Bob Devaney. After two consecutive seasons of disappointment, he was promoted to offensive coordinator for the following season. After being named offensive coordinator, the Huskers won two national championships as Osborne focused on three key areas: a strong academic program, a strength and conditioning program, and a more established effort to recruit walk-on athletes.
After the 1972 season, Devaney, who was then 57 years old, stated that he would step down as head coach and focus on his responsibilities as athletic director. He named Osborne to succeed him as Head Coach. Following the team’s stunning victory over Notre Dame in the 1973 Orange Bowl, Osborne was named Head Coach, a post he held for the next 25 years.
In 1991, Osborne and his wife, Nancy, established The TeamMates program, which provides support and encouragement to school-aged youngsters with the goal of ensuring that they graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education.
Following his retirement from football in 1997, Osborne entered politics, serving three terms in the United States House of Representatives representing Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district (from 2000 to 2006). He ran for governor of California in 2006 before deciding to pursue a career in academics. He became a senior lecturer in the College of Business Administration at Nebraska in the fall of the following year, teaching leadership and business ethics.
In 2007, he was named Nebraska’s temporary athletic director, and the following year, he sacked head coach Jim Callahan and appointed himself as interim head coach. He received a yearly salary of $250,000 and was in charge of Nebraska’s 23-sport program.
The most notable effort of his career is serving as Nebraska’s 25th Head Coach for 25 years, the longest tenure in school history. Under his leadership, the program outperformed any other program in its long history.
Under Osborne’s leadership, the Cornhuskers went 255-49-3 with a winning percentage of.836. The 255 victories rank sixth among major college football coaches all-time, while the winning % is fifth.
Achievements & Awards
Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, got the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, and was named ESPN’s Coach of the Decade for the 1990s for his outstanding contributions (1999).
Personal History and Legacy
Mike, Ann, and Suzanne, as well as four grandkids, are the children of Osborne and his wife, Nancy. In 1999, Nebraska renamed Memorial Stadium’s playing field ‘Tom Osborne Field’ in honor of Osborne. According to reports, Osborne was embarrassed by the gesture. To resist plans to expand gambling in Nebraska, Osborne teamed up with Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, a political foe.
In the Republican primary in 2006, Osborne competed against Governor Dave Heineman and Omaha businessman Dave Nabity for Governor of Nebraska. Osborne earned a master’s degree in educational psychology and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska in 1963. (1965). He was also a member of the Nebraska Army National Guard from 1960 to 1966. In 1964, his only remuneration as an unpaid offensive assistant to head coach Devaney was the ability to eat at the physical training table.
Estimated Net Worth
Tom Osborne has a net worth of $10 million and is an American football coach and politician from Nebraska. From 1973 until 1997, he was the head coach of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, succeeding Bob Devaney, for 25 years and was one of the most successful coaches in American college football history.