Tom Osborne Biography

(American Football Player, Coach)

Birthday: February 23, 1937 (Pisces)

Born In: Hastings, Nebraska, United States

Dr. Thomas William ‘Tom’ Osborne is a former Head Coach of the University of Nebraska football team and is considered to be the most proficient coach in the history of American college football. He was the Head Coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team for 25 years and succeeded Bob Devaney, who convinced him to become a volunteer graduate assistant on his staff in the beginning. After that, he made him offensive coordinator for a few seasons before he was announced as the Head Coach. Nebraska’s 25th Head Coach for 25 years, the longest tenure in school history is considered to be the most prominent achievement of his football career. Under his bearing, the program achieved success. The Cornhuskers made a 255-49-3 record under Osborne’s guidance, won a percentage of .836. His accomplishments were so highly respected that the National Football Foundation gave up its three-year waiting period so that he could be inducted into its Hall of Fame in December of 1998. After coaching, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000 and served six years in the U.S. House as a Republican from Nebraska's 3rd district.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Thomas William Osborne

Age: 87 Years, 87 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Nancy Tederman

children: Ann Wilke, Mike Osborne, Suzie Dobbs

Coaches Political Leaders

political ideology: Republican Party

Notable Alumni: University Of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hastings College

U.S. State: Nebraska

More Facts

education: Hastings College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • 1

    What was Tom Osborne's coaching record at the University of Nebraska?

    Tom Osborne had a coaching record of 255-49-3 during his tenure at the University of Nebraska.

  • 2

    What offensive system did Tom Osborne implement at Nebraska?

    Tom Osborne was known for implementing the option-based offense, particularly the I-formation and the triple option, which became a hallmark of Nebraska football.

  • 3

    How many national championships did Tom Osborne win as a head coach?

    Tom Osborne won three national championships as the head coach of the University of Nebraska football team in 1994, 1995, and 1997.

  • 4

    What made Tom Osborne a successful coach at Nebraska?

    Tom Osborne's attention to detail, emphasis on teamwork, discipline, and his ability to develop players both on and off the field were key factors in his success as a coach at Nebraska.

Childhood & Early Years
Osborne was born on February 23, 1937 in Nebraska and attended the Hastings High School where he was considered a star athlete, an ace in basketball and football. He won the Nebraska High School ‘Athlete of The Year’ title by the Omaha World Herald.
After passing his high school, Osborne, like his father and grandfather, joined the Hastings College. He played football quarterback and basketball during his time in the college and graduated with B.A. in history in 1959.
Washington Redskins drafted Osborne into the National Football League, after he played two seasons with them as a wide receiver.
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Osborne joined the Cornhusker coaching staff and took up a job as an unpaid offensive assistant to Head Coach Bob Devaney in 1965. After having two consecutive disappointing seasons, he was made the offensive coordinator for the next season.
After being made the in-charge of the offense, Huskers won two national titles as Osborne deliberated on three areas of importance – a strong academic program, a strength and conditioning program and a more formalized program to attract walk-on players.
Devaney, at the age of 57, announced that he would retire from his position as the Head Coach and concentrate on his role as the athletic director after 1972 season. He named Osborne as the next Head Coach.
After the magnificent win over Notre Dame in the 1973 Orange Bowl, Osborne became the Head Coach of the team and remained in that position for the next 25 seasons.
Osborne and his wife, Nancy, founded The TeamMates program in 1991, which provides support and encouragement to school-aged youth with the goal that children graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education.
After retiring from football in 1997 Osborne worked in the political arena, as he served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district (from 2000 to 2006).
He made a gubernatorial bid in 2006 before turning to academia. In the fall of the following year, he served as a senior lecturer at Nebraska in the College of Business Administration, teaching leadership and business ethics.
In 2007, he was made the interim athletic director of Nebraska and in the same year he fired the head coach Callahan and appointed himself as the interim head coach. He was paid $250,000/year and managed Nebraska's 23-sport program.
Major Works
Nebraska’s 25th Head Coach for 25 years, the longest tenure in school history, is considered to be the most prominent work of his career. Under his bearing, the program achieved success that exceeded any such program in its rich history.
The Cornhuskers made a 255-49-3 record under Osborne’s guidance, won a percentage of .836. The victories (255) are the sixth-most all-time among major college football coaches while the winning percentage ranks fifth all-time.
Awards & Achievements
For his exceptional services, Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (1999), received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award (2000) and ESPN honored him as the coach of the decade for the 90s (1999).
Personal Life & Legacy
Osborne and his wife, Nancy, have three children together: Mike, Ann and Suzanne and four grandchildren.
Facts About Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne was not only a successful football coach, but also a talented musician who played the trumpet in a band during his college years.

Osborne is known for his strong work ethic and dedication to his players, often staying up late to watch game film and prepare for upcoming matchups.

Despite his intense coaching style on the field, off the field Osborne was known for his laid-back personality and sense of humor.

In addition to his coaching career, Osborne also served as a U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 3rd congressional district from 2001 to 2007.

Osborne is a devout Christian and has been involved in numerous charity and community service efforts throughout his career.

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