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Tom Osborne


Thomas William Osborne

Inducted 1998

Date of Birth



Hastings, NE


University of Nebraska (1973-1997)


Tom 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, and father, had graduated. He 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 numerous records and mile stones. In 25 years his teams never missed playing in a bowl game. He won 13 conference titles and three national championships. In his final five seasons he posted a 60-3 record. Osborne served his community. He served in congress and taught Sunday school at a Methodist Church, and made speeches for the American Heart Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The National Football Foundation gave him its Distinguished American Award in 1995. 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."


Wins 255

Losses 49

Ties 3

Career Highlights

  • 1978 Dodd Coach of the Year winner
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