Hall of Champions

Tom Osborne


In 1957 at the age of 19, Tom Osborne drove by himself to Estes Park where he attended the second FCA National Conference. He had been raised in church, but considers that week to be the first time he fully committed himself to Christ. FCA became an integral part of Osborne’s life from that moment on.

During his coaching career at Nebraska, he held daily Bible studies with his coaching staff and was involved with an FCA Adult Huddle in Lincoln. A Methodist Sunday School teacher, Osborne was a public proponent of the FCA Bowl Breakfasts, and he encouraged his players to attend FCA chapel services and FCA Huddle meetings.

Osborne’s athletic pursuits began in Hastings, Nebraska, where he was a three-sport athlete and 1955 Nebraska High School High School Athlete of the Year. He then played football and basketball at Hastings College where he was named 1959 Nebraska College Athlete of the Year, becoming the first male athlete to win both awards. Osborne played three years in the NFL before retiring from football to further his studies in educational psychology at the University of Nebraska where he earned his masters in 1963 and his doctorate in 1965.

In 1964, Osborne joined Bob Devaney’s coaching staff at Nebraska as an unpaid assistant. Five years later, he was named offensive coordinator and helped lead the Cornhuskers to the 1970 and 1971 national titles. After taking over the program in 1973, Osborne spent the next 25 seasons at the helm where he won 255 games, 13 conference titles, and three national championships. He was named 1978 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, 1994 National Coach of the Year, ESPN Coach of the Decade, and an eight-time conference Coach of the Year.

Osborne served as an assistant athletic director at Nebraska for 18 years. In December of 2007, he took over as athletic director, a job he held until January of 2013. In 1999, Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Away from the field, Osborne founded the Teammates Mentoring Program in 1991, which has reached thousands of young people across the country. He also served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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