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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 11/16/2012
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Fans Can Help T.O. Ride Off into the Sunset

Randy York’s N-Sider

Saturday’s Senior Day for Nebraska football just got bigger, better and more emotional. Tom Osborne, the senior most member of the Nebraska Athletic Department, will be honored at the game Saturday, and Big Red fans everywhere, whether you will be inside Memorial Stadium or not, have the opportunity to say goodbye and pay tribute to a Nebraska leader and a Cornhusker legend before he prepares to ride off into the sunset.

Saturday will be Husker football game No. 500 for Osborne in an official role with Nebraska Athletics and fans in attendance can enjoy many special tributes throughout the game. That will include Senior Day introductions at 2:15 p.m. and a special UNL Cornhusker Band performance before the Tunnel Walk. Husker fans will have an opportunity to salute the Osborne family at halftime with a special video tribute.

Fans whose hearts will be in Lincoln even though they will be watching the game worldwide on the Big Ten Network will not be left out. Everyone will have the opportunity to write a note to Osborne or tell a favorite Osborne story, beginning right now on a specially created website thankstomosborne.com. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #ThanksTO for tweets, instagram messages or Facebook comments.

Social Media, Email Enable Fan Tributes

If you’re not into social media, don’t despair. You also can share your thoughts and appreciation for Osborne, who will retire as Athletic Director on Jan. 1, 2013. Huskers.com has created a special email address – thankstom@huskers.com  (please include your first and last names and hometown)  – to send your messages to Coach Osborne. Athletics will post some of the stories gleaned from email, Facebook,
Twitter and instagram on our website, so fans across Husker Nation and around the world can share their tributes. The ThanksTomOsborne.com website is also accessible via Huskers.com.

Shawn Eichorst, who will succeed Osborne as A.D. on Jan. 1, encourages Husker fans everywhere to show their appreciation for Osborne, an iconic figurehead even for him as a young boy growing up in the farmlands of southwest Wisconsin. “I lived for Saturdays in the fall and stared in awe at Coach Osborne and players like Mike Rozier, Dave Rimington and Roger Craig," Eickhorst said. "I remember the Blackshirts and the classic games they played.”

Saturday will be a memorable tribute to Osborne, but not the only one. Current and former athletic staff, coaches and student-athletes will gather in Lincoln for an invitation-only “Tribute to Tom” on Friday, April 5, 2013, the night before Nebraska’s annual Spring Game, which has been moved up a week to April 6 at Memorial Stadium.

East Stadium, TeamMates Top Priorities

After his Jan. 1 retirement as AD, Osborne will continue to work with the athletic department as Athletic Director Emeritus until July 1, 2013. Athletics is already planning a gala fund-raiser in Omaha sometime after the first of the year with proceeds benefitting two projects near and dear to Osborne’s heart: 1) the East Memorial Stadium Research Center; and 2) the TeamMates Mentoring Program that Tom and wife Nancy founded in 1991. According to an official press release Friday, tickets for that event will cost $500 a plate or $5,000 for a reserved table of 10. More information on this event will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, hundreds of Osborne’s former players are preparing for their coach to take on another meaningful role.

“I think Saturday’s tribute is a great way for all of us to pay tribute to Coach Osborne,” said Steve Taylor, who played quarterback for Nebraska in the 1980s before playing professionally for eight years. Now a Lincoln real estate leader and a regular on the Husker Sports Network as well as Big Red Wrap-up, Taylor sits next to Osborne on the team plane for Husker road games.

“We chat before and after every game, and think we’re all finally willing to accept Coach Osborne leaving the university,” Taylor said. “He’s such a humble guy and doesn’t really care about being recognized and all that stuff, but at this juncture of his life, he knows that people truly appreciate what he’s done for the athletic program, for the university and for the state.”

Wife, Kids, Grandkids Get More Time

“Coach has given us so much of himself, and I think all of us should be happy for him to have his life back with his family,” Taylor said. “Everyone I know is ready to let him go. We want him to ride off into the sunset and experience all of those things with his family. He’s sacrificed so much, and it’s time for his wife, his kids and his grandkids to see more of him. I’m sincerely and genuinely happy that he has his health and the wherewithal to enjoy more time with the family.”

Osborne joked at his retirement press conference that his wife has been waiting decades for him to clean out the garage, but let the record show that Nancy Osborne isn’t expecting miracles. She knows her husband’s penchant for big-picture pursuits.

“I’ve already shared my thoughts and expressed my goodbyes, but it’s going to be pretty tough to watch everything tomorrow,” Taylor said. “My wife will be in Kansas City for two of our kids’ soccer games, and my daughter, Sydney (a high school senior), will be with me. I’m pretty sure there will be a moment where there’s a teardrop or two. I won’t be able to help that.”

A Character Straight Out of the Movie

For some reason, over the past few weeks, Steve Taylor can’t delete a thought that keeps running through his mind. “I’m a big fan of western movies, and Shane is my all-time favorite,” he said of the 1953 classic that starred Alan Ladd and won five Oscar Awards. Nearly 60 years after its release, Shane remains a popular choice among film critics. “It’s still relevant, just like Tom Osborne,” Taylor said.

“Coach has to be acknowledged publicly, so he can ride off into the sunset,” Taylor said. “I know there are 13 walk-ons among the 29 seniors who will be honored Saturday as well, and every one of them has to hold a special place in their hearts for a coach who built his program on walk-ons. He loved every one of them while he was head coach and still does – whether they became a first-team All-American or got in for only one kickoff in five years.”

Saturday is a perfect day for Osborne to be honored alongside so many walk-ons that remain a big part of Nebraska’s heart and continue to influence the program’s soul.

He Kept Coming Back to Make Things Right

“That’s why I keep coming back to the movie Shane,” Taylor said. “Coach Osborne reminds me of the lead character who keeps riding off into the sunset until someone needs him, so he keeps coming back to save lives and help people who need help. That’s what Tom did at Nebraska. Like Shane, he came back, put the program in his hands and revitalized it.

“That’s what he’s done all his adult life – keeps coming back to the people he loves, the program he loves, the university he loves and the state he loves,” Taylor said. “He’s always been willing to do what needs to be done to make things right. That’s what humble, serving people do – put others before themselves. They come back, even when they have triple-bypass surgery. Coach has been coming back and serving others for 50 years, but even he has to hang up the guns and ride off into that last sunset. He owes it to the people he loves the most.”

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Voices from Husker Nation

 

I was at NU in the '60s, and ever since I've been a huge fan of you and Bob Devaney before you were the best! It's a great tradition that you started, and I wish you were still coaching! Judy Geer, Ewing, Nebraska

Thank you Mr. Osborne for so many happy memories of when my dad was alive. He always told my sister and I he used to prop us up as newborns in front of the games and our first words were Go Big Red!! We would always watch the games with our dad and sometimes even got to go to one! We were and still are very loud and loyal fans. Watching you throughout your coaching years was really something special. We know we will never have someone with your character again. You were so supportive, respectful, fair and kind to your players. You have such a vast knowledge in so many areas, you have truly amazed us throughout the years during and after your coaching years. I live in California (from Bellevue, Ne.), am a nurse for the VA and am always so proud to speak of you, your coaching and teams with our veterans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being such a gentle and soft spoken role model for all of us that have watched you for so many years. You have definitely made us proud! I wish you and your family well. Jacqueline Friedrich, Loma Linda, California

I have been a lifelong fan and when you first came with Devaney to Nebraska I was 10 years old and one of our neighbor boys, Pete Tatman, played fullback for Nebraska. My father loved sports and shared his love with me.  It has been a terrific ride, but thank you so much for returning as Athletic Director to put Nebraska back in sync with our state.  Enjoy your retirement, you certainly have given a lot to Nebraska thru the university but more so through the TeamMates program you started to help our youth grow into solid citizens with good memories of the adults who helped them mature. Thank you so much for all the years and sacrifices that you have made to your state and the university. Sharon Buel

One of my brother's favorite stories is sacking TO for a 5 yard loss and having Tom helping Paul up and responding with "Nice tackle." My other brother treasures the memory of your visit in 1959 to our home in Ord on a recruiting effort for Hastings college. You've been our hero for over 50 years. Your character and Christian witness has made fans of four generations of our family. We've lived in Missouri for over 35 years and even my grandkids are avid Big Red fans and remain so as long as TO's integrity and legacy is maintained. We'll all miss you. Enjoy your time and God bless. Richard Martin, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

We have followed your career for many years and have been supporters of yours through the best and worst times! You have been a wonderful coach and set a great example. You imparted your God loving values onto your teams and co-workers and they all have benefited from it!  We are all very proud of you!  Enjoy your retirement and thank you for the many, many years of great memories! The Smith & Dyson Families

Your role in Nebraska football/athletics has forever changed many young people for the better.  Your patience, courage and morals have created something special at the University of Nebraska that can be carried forward for many years to come.  Having grown up in Nebraska, I fondly remember listening to the games (when not televised) while hunting, camping or just hanging out.  I am proud to be a true Husker fan and also a Coloradoan for Nebraska.  Thank you very much for the joy you and your teams have given us over the years.  We will be forever grateful, thankful and fondly remember you and your family.  Best of luck on your next adventure in your life. God Bless! David Rhoades, Gypsum, Colorado

Mr. Osborne, thank you for all the great games and wonderful memories.  You are truly one of the good guys and brought so much to not only the university, but the state and the nation.  Thank you and enjoy the retirement. Larry Bauer, Sidney, Nebraska

Thank you for all that you've done for our university and the state of Nebraska, and also for the steady, positive influence you've provided through the years.  I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement. Aaron Morlock

My wife, Nancy, did typing for you when you were a student working on an advanced degree in 1962.  She and I were freshmen that year and had season student tickets.  Little did we know that we were witnessing the start of a dynasty.  Frank Solich was in our freshman class.  We have enjoyed the ecstasy and heartbreak of all the games since then from where we've lived - Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Colorado.  We are so proud of our state and what you have contributed to it.  The self-esteem in the state the football program has generated through the years has been palpable and I am sure that self-esteem and enhanced confidence has motivated many a young Nebraskan to accomplish things they may have never imagined, had they been born earlier.  You have always been a beacon of integrity and class and have earned the respect of the whole state and all of the college football community.  We thank you for all you have done for your university and your state. We wish you a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement. Tom & Nancy (Papik) Lisec, Centennial, Colorado

In 1963 I was a Junior at Glenvil High School, and your little brother Jack was one of our teachers and our coach. That is where we learned about Tom Osborne. We were given Husker Knot-Hole Club cards, in case we were ever able to get to Lincoln for a game. I never did, but have seen the Huskers on the road several times. Does the 19-19 tie in 1991 in Boulder remind you of possibly the coldest game the Huskers ever played? I think it was 18 below during that game. The Huskers scored on the opening play of the game. Boy I thought it would be a huge blowout. Tom, during the 70's and 80's your 18 year run of being ranked in the top ten will never be broken. We are still proud of you for going for two at the 1984 Orange Bowl. Thank you for so many wonderful memories, ALL you have done for the game of football, the state of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska. Marvin Elsberry, The Dalles, Oregon

Thank you Coach Osborne for everything you have done for the great state of Nebraska and for Husker Football. I was raised in North Bend, and I remember every Saturday, my dad having the radio turned to Nebraska Football. My father was one of your biggest fans! Even when my sister dared to get married during a Nebraska - Oklahoma game, he had the radio close by. Now despite living in Indiana, we have raised our two sons to be Husker fans. I have shared your values of respect, hard work and integrity with them. After attending home and away games, they are always amazed by the love for Big Red. You are the reason the great state of Nebraska and Husker Football is held in such high esteem. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it! Jean Nelson Lonergan, Class of 1983, Fishers, Indiana

 

Thanks Tom. You are a great man of character and the most amazing coach. I will always remember you as the greatest coach in college football. You will be missed. Doug Mort, Omaha, Nebraska

Thank you for being such a good leader and role model to all fellow Huskers and non-Huskers alike.  I was born and grew up in Nebraska.  I moved to Pennsylvania at the age of ten but continued to visit.  Football season could never be long enough.  You have built an amazing legacy that makes me proud to be from Nebraska.  The consecutive sell outs, the championships, just the all-around hospitality from all of Husker Nation.  I just want to say good luck Tom, you've earned it.  Thank you!  Go Big Red!!! Jeremy Nelson, York, Pennsylvania

I have never met you and I wish I could. Back in 1987, my brother-in-law was killed in a terrible auto accident. My young nephew was a freshman in high school and a big Nebraska fan. I sat down and wrote you about my nephew and what had happened to his father. You wrote to him and encouraged him to work hard. Although we all wanted to play for Nebraska, this just wasn't going to happen.  My nephew did go on to play for Ft. Hays State and then on to Kansas State. He told me that at the Nebraska - Kansas State game in Manhattan that he was about 20 feet from you, he really wished he had went up to you to thank you in person, but he didn't want to be a bother. Later that year, I wrote you again and had requested a signed photo. You graciously obliged. He called me to say you had sent him the autograph, laughing that when he received the big envelope from the University of Nebraska, he was thinking that he might have a couple years of eligibility left. Tom we thank you very much for all you have done for the state, college football and for thousands of others all over this country. Marv & MaryAnn Carlock, Laird, Colorado

When I think of Tom Osborne, I think of a life well-lived.  A stark contrast to the me-first, self-absorbed culture we live in.  Your desire to help people has permeated your life and your impact in Nebraska  and beyond leaves the world a better place.  You have risked your own reputation many times to help young men when others were ready to cast them aside.  Thank you for being the consummate model of a servant leader. Scott Sorensen, North Platte, Nebraska

Thanks Coach Osborne for being such a positive role model. I never once doubted your integrity and always knew that your actions were for the good of the team and the university. I own several of your books and bought "Beyond the Final Score" for my boys for Christmas. My youngest son is a TeamMate volunteer and I am so proud to say that he is a part of such an honorable program.  I became a Husker fan in 1970 when I was ten years old. I remember taking a lot of heat from family and friends since we lived in Iowa. I just remember liking the team and the success they had, it had me hooked and I've been a fan ever since. Thanks again for your coaching, your teaching, and your honorable service. Dale Streufert, Spencer, Iowa

You will always be remembered fondly by me and my family as a true Christian leader who stayed true to his principles in life and cared for his players and staff at Nebraska like they were family.  I'm sure the players, the recruits and their families quickly picked up on that, and that was a big part of your success and the 3 National Championships you helped bring to Nebraska.  Thanks for your caring, class, and commitment which you always demonstrated both on and off the field and in your coming out of retirement to help Nebraska once again as Athletic Director. People say it's sometimes the small things that show the real mark of a man.  I've wanted to thank you for this for years, now I will.  I'll never forget the time in the early 1990s when I visited my Aunt Mildred suffering with terminal cancer at the assisted living center in Hastings.  She warmly greeted me as always, and quickly showed me the book that you had just sent her along with your touching personal note on the inside cover. You thanked her for all she had taught you as your Sunday School teacher when you were a boy in Hastings, and how you had kept her in your prayers since learning of her illness.  This was in October, the middle of your football season, when you sent her your book.  You'll never know how much that reconnection meant to her, and her family.  She was so touched that you remembered her after all the years, and that after somehow learning of her illness, you had taken the time to send your book and personal note to her in those difficult last few months of her life.  She followed your career all of her life, and was your biggest fan, Tom.  We miss her, and we'll also miss you at the helm at Nebraska.  You gave joy to my Aunt Mildred, as well as to so many Husker fans, athletes, and students over your distinguished career.  I shared this story about you and my Aunt Mildred with Coach Bill McCartney out here in Colorado in the late 1990s at Promise Keepers.  His eyes welled up some, and then he said, "Yes, that's the Tom Osborne I know alright, he's a friend of mine, he's also a real man of the Lord, and a class act".  I hope my Aunt was up there above us listening to that, she would have really liked his comment a lot.  You are not only loved and respected by your former players, assistant coaches, fans, and students, but also your coaching peers and competitors, a great honor for anyone to have.  Well done, and thank you for all that you gave us and taught us Tom.  Mike Frost, Class of 1973, Aurora, Colorado

Congratulations to you on your fantastic career in sports and politics.  Who would have thought that a red- headed college student at Hastings College would rise to the heights you have.  I am proud to say that I played basketball against you.  I don't remember who won the game, but it was fun.  May you enjoy your memories and savior your accomplishments with the same humility that you have shown over the years.  It's been fun following your career.  Best of luck to you and yours in the future.  Go Big Red!!!! Thomas Morris

As I was growing up, I never realized it, but I was being brought up into a great tradition behind Nebraska football. I remember as I was in grade school, my father bought a new T.V., several of my uncles helping unload the "mammoth" of a 32" tube TV into the living room, and helping him set it up. The first thing that we tuned in was the Nebraska football game that weekend. I have many fond memories growing up, watching the teams you coached, from enjoying some of the games at Memorial Stadium, to going on road trips to Iowa State and Kansas State. I still remember fondly watching each national championship game being played while in awe. I'm proud to say I bleed scarlet and cream, and wouldn't want it any other way. Well wishes on your retirement, I've never had the pleasure of meeting you in person, though if I do, I would love to shake your hand. Mike Singleton, Class of 1973, Omaha, Nebraska

Thank you for all that you have given to the university, athletic programs, and the state of Nebraska. You are truly an ambassador of all that is good in college athletics, and have been true to who you are over the years. I had the honor to work as a student athletic trainer under George Sullivan from 1976-79, which was a highlight of my college experience.

I attended the Penn State game last week and met with George before the game.  It was awesome to see George and I was amazed at the tremendous facilities that have been built on your watch. Thank you especially for stepping up and coming back and righting the ship!!!!!

Enjoy the years ahead and GO BIG RED!!!

Jay Platt

Fort Worth, Texas

Thanks for saving the football program and all you have done for the university as well as the state. Hope you have a very enjoyable retirement with your family. Thanks again and I hope to still see you at the games.

Bryan Miller

Fremont, Nebraska

We both well know how our times have flown by us. From when we first met  - in the Ed Psych office,  back in '61.   I was leaving with a M.A. (Chair, Robert 'Bob' Filbeck). You were coming back from the pros and also an assistant to Bob Devaney. I'm thinking perhaps you recall the couple times since then when we got to do some catching up visits in your office on Fridays, before the next day's home games, and the last time we shook hands. It was in the Cornhusker ballroom during some fund raiser, and you dropped by to offer a few sage words to the crowd. I think you had arrived back in Lincoln, bone-tired, from Washington D.C..  You may recall I asked you one very brief question:  "Tom, which do you prefer - - coaching or Congress?" You smiled, and said: "Coaching." Best wishes to you and your family for great personal health!

M. Keene Hueftle

Pocatello, Idaho

I just wanted to say a great BIG thank you from all of us in my family.  I was born in Lincoln and have been a Husker fan for as long as I can remember.  When my family moved to California we continued to listen or watch Husker football games whenever they were available.

As a parent I want to thank you for the great example of leadership and dedication you have shown during your time at Nebraska.  I certainly appreciate how you live your convictions within the world of collegiate sports.  You have taken young people from all backgrounds and provided guidance and direction for them to follow.  It has been wonderful to watch you continue to demonstrate the highest qualities of a man of character both on and off the field.  For this example, I am very appreciative.

May God continue to bless all your tomorrows.  Enjoy your retirement and all of your "new" hobbies.

Cindy Rap Shirley

Santee, California

Some call me crazy for the passion I have for Husker football being a female, but it comes from the respect you have brought to the program. I want to thank you for everything you have done for the football program and for Husker sports overall.  You have brought a lot of respect and dedication and that's what I think of when I think of Husker football and all the sports. Thank you for your time, thank your wife Nancy for sharing you with us and thank you to your family as well. Enjoy retirement where ever your fishing pole takes you!  You will be missed!

Dawn Lomax

Lincoln, Nebraska

Thank you for being so generous with your time. I worked with elementary school children back in the early 90's. I had the opportunity to have Tom sign numerous items for the kids each year. Thanks Tom for taking the time to give those kids such special memories. There was one special request I made several years ago that had a funny twist, but showed how much Tom cared. My dad lives in Iowa and is a huge Washington Redskins fan. Knowing that Tom was a Redskin, I asked through a friend if Tom had any pictures of himself in a Redskins uniform that he could sign for my dad. The request was mixed up and Tom spent some time researching the request and reported back that he could not find any record of playing football with my dad. I felt a little bad about the mix up, and after the request was clarified, Tom sent a signed football for him. I was so impressed that even after he found out that it wasn't a former teammate, he still sent the football. My dad treasured the football and the story.  Thanks Tom for that and all the memories on and off the field. You truly have inspired and touched so many people.

David Martens

Papillion, Nebraska

Thanks Tom for all your years of dedication to the Husker football team and everyone in Nebraska who looked up to you.  We appreciate everything you have done.

Monie Karschner

Kearney, Nebraska

Beginning with my Saturday afternoons listening to games on the radio as a kid during corn harvest on our farm, I grew up loving Nebraska football.  My admiration for you began with talking to friends who played for you.  My respect for you as one of the greatest coaches ever began on a missed 2 point conversion in Miami.  That one call to go for the win defined the Nebraska attitude that winning is not everything and it's still how you play the game.  I still believe no other coach since that game would ever make that call. I hope your retirement brings more happy times with your family and a few more fishing trips to your favorite spot.  Thank you for your dedication to Husker athletics, the University of Nebraska, and the state of Nebraska.  Also, my daughter who graduated from UNL in 2011 still counts the day that you stopped by her table at lunch and introduced yourself to her and her friends as one of her best memories during her years in Lincoln at UNL!!

Go Big Red and God Bless you.

John Bruns, Class of 1981

Central City, Nebraska

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for all the great years of service you gave the State of Nebraska and University of Nebraska. Whether it was in the capacity as our legendary Head Coach, Member of the House of Representatives, or as the best Athletic Director in collegiate athletics, it has truly been an honor and privilege to have you lead our great team and state.

I was born and raised in Nebraska before moving to Reno, Nevada in 1986. I've been a loyal and diehard fan since my childhood years in Harrison, Nebraska. I was, still am and will always be a "Coach Osborne" fan. You have been a role model in my life in which I grew up without my Father, he passed away when I was young.

I tried to emulate your high standards, beliefs and values as best I could. Those high standards served me well as I became a Nevada Highway Patrol Officer in 1991. I too am nearing retirement after a successful career. I've since passed on those same high standards and values along with the passion and love for Cornhusker football and all things Nebraska to my son, Mark.

My only regret is not having the pleasure to meet you in person or write you a letter or email before now. You have influenced and inspired so many good people over the years, including countless others like me whom you may haven't heard of until now.

So, thanks again coach for simply being "Coach" to the greatest college football program in history. Thanks again for being the Athletic Director that resurrected our football program and placed that program into the steady hands of Coach Bo. Thank you for simply being a role model for a youngster like me at the time, who needed a role model, and inspiration at a vulnerable time in my life.

Although I'm saddened by your retirement Coach, I do hope you can enjoy your well-deserved retirement with as much passion and joy as you gave the fans over the years.

Mike and Diana Marsteller

Reno, Nevada

Thank you Dr. Tom for all the great memories. You are a true hero and example of what great leaders are made of! My mother, who is no longer with us, truly adored you and lived for Big Red football. She is smiling down on you, the great state of Nebraska and the Big Red! Wishing you the best in retirement and whatever life brings your way!

Michael Gardner

Kansas City, Missouri

Thank for all you've done for the university, the state of Nebraska and college athletics, Coach.  You will never know what an impact you've had on my life.  You are the epitome of what each human being should be.  Your treatment of Lawrence Phillips showed me that you have to do what feels right, even if it is not the easy thing, or the popular thing.  Your perseverance through the tough years of not beating Oklahoma (how sweet that 1978 game was) showed me that it is worth it to get back up and keep going, no matter how many times you get knocked down.  You earned my undying respect that January night in Miami when you decided to go for 2, and not settle for the tie.  Winning that way would have cheapened it.  I have tried to live my life that way, in the life decisions I've made.  I was not taught these things by my parents, and I will be forever grateful that there was someone out there I could look to for that influence.  I just wanted you to know.

Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.  Well done. Go Big Red.

Karen Faust

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I want to thank you for your dedication to young men and to setting an example of what the words Character and Leadership mean through action and not words.  Each of the young men and women you have encountered over the years has grown wiser and sturdier. I suspect they will pass much of that on to others, including their children.  It is that "paying it forward" that others will pass along from what you taught them that will be your legacy and as such you will never fully comprehend it.  Yet know that you legacy is not football and wins, it is what you instilled in our youth that they will take and share with others long after you are gone. 

David Bernard-Stevens

Nairobi, Kenya

Thank you and your family for all you have given to this state.  Outsiders would find it odd that an athletic program could define a state and its people, but we define Nebraska as hard-working, ethical, family-focused, and that is how you molded our program and made it a reflection of us.  Win or lose, we are proud of who we are. God bless you, dearest Tom, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

Julie Hermance

Lincoln, Nebraska

I have never had the opportunity to meet Coach Osborne, but in 1995 I wrote him a letter asking his advice on what I could do to become a college football coach.  I had graduated from Penn State four years earlier and thought I would get a teaching position and coach at the high school level.  By the time I wrote Coach Osborne, I had been substitute teaching and coaching within my old high school's program, but felt I wanted to do more.  I didn't know if I would hear back from Coach Osborne or not but figured it was worth the shot.  Sure enough, I received a reply back with some advice on things I could do to get into college coaching.  I took Coach Osborne's advice and within 6 months began coaching at east Stroudsburg University, where I coached for four years.  I have never left the small college ranks and currently I am the Head Coach of a brand new program at Misericordia University.  Growing up in Pennsylvania, it would seem natural to have been a Penn State or Pitt fan.  However, I loved the Huskers the first time I saw them and I was fascinated by the Head Coach who handled every situation with grace and humility.  I don't know what I would be doing if I hadn't received the advice I did from Coach Osborne. I thank him for the time he took to reply to my original letter and for demonstrating to all who coach that you can achieve the highest level if success with class, dignity and poise. 

Mark Ross, Head Football Coach

Misericordia University

Dallas, Pennsylvania

Thanks Coach for some of the finest memories over the last 37 years of my life.  We never met in person unfortunately for me, but I have been a fan of both you and the mighty Huskers since 1976.  I am originally from South Florida and moved to Oklahoma in 1976, right in the Heart of Sooner country.  I became the biggest fan of Nebraska when you got your very first victory over the Sooners in 1978.  I shed a tear or two when we lost to Clemson 22-15.  I screamed when we "lost" at Penn St. I cheered as loudly as I possibly could when we beat Miami for your first national championship, the stories could go on and on. I just would like to say, THANK YOU DR. TOM OSBORNE for all that you have done for the University of Nebraska.  I could not imagine any other coach than you during the 80's and 90's.  THANK YOU!!!

Bryan Hightower

Stateline, Nevada

Thank you Mr. Osborne, although we greatly enjoyed the level of excellence you brought to the football team and then the athletic department for all these years, the most important thing is the influence you have had on the student- athletes and also the young people of the state through the TeamMates mentoring program. I started going to Nebraska games in 1968, my father was a professor at the university and got season tickets, he alternated which kid got to go with him to the game each home game week.

My favorite football memory was the 1978 Oklahoma game in the regular season when we literally knocked the stuffing out of a very talented Oklahoma team.  I also greatly enjoyed my first year of law school, when I had student tickets and watched the excellence of Turner Gill and company on the field.

There are too many memories to even start to go through, enjoy a long healthy well deserved retirement.

Greg Lemon

Lincoln, Nebraska

First, congratulations on your retirement.  I want to thank you for your humble service to Husker football as a coach and athletic director (among many other duties you performed).  You are an inspiration to the people of Nebraska! You showed Nebraska that through patience, determination, hard work and spiritual guidance, one can succeed on the field as well as in the classroom.  I know we're still going through this with Coach Pelini to win another championship and it will take time, but you have shown it can be done. 

I also would like to congratulate your wife on her retirement as well.  How she served through thick and thin beside you, taking care of your family while you were being a coach/athletic director, I will never know.  Now grab that fishing pole, go to Big Mac, and enjoy yourself! Oh, and thank you for bringing Coach Pelini to us...he's the perfect fit! God bless you and your family.

Stuart Gentry

Captain, United States Air Force

North Platte, Nebraska

I doubt there is anything I can say that you won't hear a thousand times from a thousand other fans.  I have grown up watching you as an assistant to Bob Devaney, as a head coach, as retired coach serving in government and as the athletic director in the state I was born in and love dearly, even though I have not lived in Nebraska since 1974. 

Listening to and watching Nebraska football helped keep me connected to my home state after I moved away while in high school and gave me something to be extremely proud of.  I went to great lengths to follow the Huskers long before the internet when I lived in California and Texas, where I have resided for over 30 years.  My car license plates, license plate holders, decals, t-shirts and caps have always let the world know I am a Husker fan.  The ability to take tremendous pride in that is due, in large part, to the reputation you achieved as a leader who is fair, honest, honorable, brilliant and, last but not least, Christian.

There are no words to express my personal, heart-felt appreciation for the role, albeit from afar, you have played in my life over the years.  I am so blessed to have been born in such a great state at a point in history when you have been a hero and a mentor for so many.  I have many wonderful memories to draw upon from years past; the best days of Nebraska football which will, in all likelihood, never be replicated.  You have been an outstanding role model for hundreds of young people whose lives have been positively changed because of the part you played in their journey to becoming responsible, caring adults.

Your loyalty, dedication and devotion in service to others has shaped your character and will define your legacy.  Thank you.  Have a fantastic retirement and God bless you!

Betsy Stuckey

Spring, Texas

God handed you the torch and you lit it up. Thank you for your unselfish leadership.

John Miller

----TOWN----

This is a very sincere thank you for all you have done for the University of Nebraska, the state of Nebraska, and our country. Currently, I live in Edmond, Oklahoma and have since 1981. I want to thank you for your efforts to keep the athletic programs, in particular the football program honest over the years. Sometimes it was difficult as you strived to help different individuals who struggled to make right decisions. Thank you for leading Nebraska to several national championships.  Those were fun and exciting years.

I also want to thank you for coming to Oklahoma to help with the FCA program. Your Christian leadership was visible both on the field and off.  That isn't always easy in this day and age. Although I have never had the opportunity to meet you personally, I want you to know you will always have my utmost respect and admiration. Thank you for a job well done.

Ron Mauch, Class of 1976
Edmond, Oklahoma

Just want to express my gratitude for the example and legacy you have provided for all those who know you and know of you.  We feel so blessed that God chose you to do His chosen work for you in our fair state!

The Durfee Family

Lincoln, Nebraska

Thank you for all you've done for the state of Nebraska.  You've been an excellent role model for ALL Nebraskans, be they student-athletes, fans, or the average citizen.  Thank you for your years of service in the House of Representatives; we need more leaders like you.  Your Mentor program is making a huge difference in the lives of many. We wish you all of God's blessings to you and your family for your retirement.  You certainly deserve the time to devote more of it to your family.  May the Lord's protection and many, many blessings be with you.  It's been a pleasure to live in the great state of Nebraska, in which you have made it that much better. Oh, and thank you for 3 national championships and the wonderful football legacy you leave behind.  It was never in better hands than with you at the reins.  Thank you so very much.

Jim, Cheryl & Rebecca Fitzgarrald

Omaha, Nebraska

Thank you for everything you have done for Nebraska Football. You were first a GREAT Christian person and a GREAT Coach. I was born and raised south of Hastings on a farm near Lawrence, NE.

I'm retired now in Arkansas and everyone knows that I am a Husker fan and they always mention what a great person and coach you are. Enjoy your retirement.

Larry Hoelting, Class of 1972

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Thanks for leading the way for not only a football team but for the state that follows them so passionately.

Nathan Mastel

Lincoln, Nebraska

Thanks Tom for giving our state an image of strength and integrity. You have lead by example and it is up to us to carry that image forward. Thank you for showing us how to live and how to lead a decent and honest life. You have been an outstanding role model for all the youth that you have been responsible for over the years. How can our state ever thank you enough?

Rita Kaul

-----TOWN------

A sincere thank you from one of your big fans in Ohio. Thanks for everything you have done for the University of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska for many years.I taught at Southeast with Frank Solich, and it's good to see him regularly right here in Ohio. He's one good example of your incredible legacy.

When Rob Portman was my Congressman your ears were burning when Rob and I had a private conversation about you at a local town hall meeting back when you were Rob's House of Representatives colleague. With deep gratitude to your entire family for everything all of you have done for Nebraska.

Leonard Huss, Class of 1963 & 1967

Mason, Ohio

Not the goal but the game. Not the victory but the action.In the deed the glory.Nobody lived up to these words more than you, Coach. Thank you for being you.

Chad Langford, Class of 1995

Omaha, Nebraska

You have been our rock. You have helped NU become the great university it is today. Thanks Tom, enjoy your retirement.

Jim Watson

Omaha, Nebraska

Tom, I used to listen to Lyell Bremser announce the games on the radio.  I was a student at U of N when Bob Devaney arrived from "the big, flat, empty state of Wyoming."  I have avidly followed the Huskers whilst in Vietnam and now in New Mexico.  I have read two of your books.  My favorite is Faith in the Game.  I don't know how you managed to accomplish so much.  I am grateful to you.  Thank you.

Patrick Kennedy


I had a memorable experience with Dr. Tom in the 90's.  I knew the day before he was coming in to my place of work.  When he got there, I just remember thinking, "Wow he is really tall!"   Before he was ready to leave, I told him I had been nervous all day to meet him & that I thought he was such a great role model & he looked at me & casually said, "Why? I'm just an ordinary guy." Thanks for all the great memories & for being an inspiration & role model to everyone!!!    Wishing good luck & good health to you & your family on your next stage of life!!

Julie Nienaber
Lincoln, Nebraska


Thank you most of all for your character, teaching your students and all of us how to work hard and win with respect for self and others. God bless you in your well-deserved retirement.

Kathy Aeillo


For years my wife and I have watched as you have led the Huskers to heights that were always sought, expected, and sometimes just out of reach. Of all the teachable moments that I have witnessed the most enduring memory is not just one but the accumulation of all of the adversity and hardships that you encountered throughout the years. Of all the best is: stay the course and determination along with hard work pays off, don't get slowed down by the little distractions along the way, confidence in one self is always more powerful than fear of another. Thank you for all years of service not just to the university but to the whole state of Nebraska and far beyond for all the lives that you have touched.

Good luck to you and your family and enjoy your retirement years!

Clyde & Lucy Blood
Beatrice, Nebraska


Thank you for your leadership both on and off the field. I appreciate how you have carried yourself, which has given a good role model for the rest of Husker Nation!

Todd Hamilton
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin


When Steve was playing football for your team our first son was born.  Paul came into the world on Sunday, October 30, 1977. I was glad Steve was home for the birth, but when you walked into my room at St. Elizabeth's hospital the next evening to congratulate us, it showed us how much you cared for each player as an individual.  In the middle of the season I know you had so much to do, and I want you to know how much it still means to me so much later that you took that moment to share our new joy in our lives.  May you and Nancy enjoy what the Lord has for you now in your lives.  I'll pray for your adjustment to not needing to be at the office every day and your time to enjoy your family to the fullest.  Thank you for being the constant excellent example to a world that needs many more godly examples.

Marie Glenn
Pawnee City, Nebraska


Thank you for all your service to Nebraska, not only as a coach but also as athletic director.  You had the vision to bring Nebraska into the Big Ten.  I also thank you for teaching statistics when you were just an assistant coach.  Words really can't express what your leadership has meant to all Nebraska.  Thanks!!!

Henry Schuttler


Thank you Coach Tom, not only for the great leadership as coach on the football field but also for the strong leadership you have shown in character.  Your mentorship to many young men has not ended in the locker room.  It has reached thousands of young people across the state of Nebraska.  Your principles and values have been a bright star in athletics.  Husker fans will never forget your many contributions and sacrifices through the years.  We wish you the very best in your future and hope you can enjoy quality time with your wife and family.

Veta Hungerford
Long Pine, Nebraska


A very heartfelt Thank You DOC for being such a fantastic leader and role model.  Thank you for your years of service to Nebraska and the football program.  I have been to many games and events that you spoke at.   We have truly been blessed by God to have you here.  You will be missed greatly.  Please tell your wife and family thank you for their sacrifices also. 

Chad Stull
Gothenburg, Nebraska


A sincere thank you for everything you have done for Nebraska. You are a class act and will be sorely missed. My son is on the Nebraska track team and echoes my comments.

Tom Micek
Hastings, Nebraska


Thank you Tom Osborne for all your service and support for ALL things Nebraska.  You are more than just an AD, you are an inspiration to a generation of Nebraskans who look to improve on what you have helped build.  Good Luck and God Bless! 

Paul, Kathleen & AJ Olnes
Omaha, Nebraska


Here's the set-up:  My father is from Hooper, Nebraska, and is a lifelong Husker fan.  He raised his three boys to be Husker football fans and that fandom coalesced in the early 70s when we were just getting old enough (ages 5, 9, & 13) to understand football and NU was winning those two national championships. 

The anecdote:  Around 1978 (now ages 10, 14, & 18), there was talk in the papers that Osborne was feeling extra heat over not being able to beat OU and the team was headed to the not-so-glamorous Astro-Blue Bonnet Bowl.  Osborne visited Colorado to consider that job.  My father did not want to see Osborne leave the program.  He penned a letter to the NU President asking that the administration not let Osborne depart the school.  However, he gave the letter to my younger brother (I'm the middle brother) to transcribe and sign the letter.  That letter from the 10-year old fan saved Osborne's job.

Greg Stroh
Lake Bluff, Illinois


Thanks Tom for giving us the best years of your life so that we could watch the greatest college  football team in America.

John Cain
South Sioux City, Nebraska


Thank you Dr. Osborne.  Many UNL alumni, like myself, leave the university wanting to live our lives like Coach Osborne.  We try to help people, value education and balance that life with spiritual guidance.

Todd Hale


Thank you Tom for all you have done.  I sure wish there were a million like you in this world.....you take care and enjoy your family in your retirement...May God Bless you.

Martha Fousek


My many memories of Nebraska football include some memories that occurred while on military assignments overseas. I would stay up late to listen to the Huskers football games on the Armed Forces Radio Network. It was not only a game but a reconnection with home. Thank you Tom for all you have done. Win or lose the Husker commitment to excellence and playing until the final whistle made us all very proud to support you and to be from Nebraska. I will always remember your style, wisdom, and your values. If I had a wish, it would be that more of our leaders, coaches and politicians alike, would model themselves after you. The best to you and your family. The Bolton family thanks the Osborne family for 41 years of public service. You can rest well now knowing you leave a monumental legacy.

Jose Bolton
South Sioux City, Nebraska


Congratulations on a long and glorious career as the figurehead of Nebraska football. I grew up playing football in Nebraska and was fortunate enough to be at the greatest game vs Oklahoma as a kid and was in Miami in 83 when you went for 2 and the win. I went to FB camps with my son and many, many games. I met you while in school and you were taking flying lessons at my dad's business. You have always represented what is best about football and life. You have been a great leader and role model to many. You will forever be remembered as one of the greatest coaches of all time. Enjoy your retirement and your family.

Brad Hatt, Class of 1982
Scottsdale, Arizona


My favorite Tom Osborne moment? Getting to attend the Fiesta Bowl at the age of six and watching his team destroy Tennessee for the National Championship. I was lucky enough to grow up watching his teams because they were always prepared and well disciplined. He will be missed by the university, but he will always be a part of Husker Nation.

Tyler Wells
Norfolk, Nebraska


My dad, Joseph Sullivan, was born in Archer in 1910.  My mom, Elaine Burkman, was born in Palmer, the youngest of ten girls!!  My parents went to the Nebraska Rose Bowl Game against Michigan in 1940 and stayed in California.  (I still have the tickets!) Many, many years later, I took Mom in her 80's bundled up in her wheelchair, wrapped in a red homemade blanket with a big N, to the Rose Parade to cheer on the Nebraska team.  I grew up with Nebraska Football, and my blood runs Big Red.

We have so much respect for you and what you have done for the young men of NU.  Your passion and character have touched so many.  You are forever in the hearts of our family members, and I thank you for always being Tom Osborne.   In my life, I've met Cary Grant, Nancy Reagan and I still hope one day to shake your hand. God Bless you and your family for you contribution to Nebraska life!  Love you, Tom.

Diane Sullivan
Colorado Springs, Colorado


A few years ago I read an outstanding book by Robert M. Utley, "The Lance and the Shield."  The book described four very important virtues for the people he was writing about; generosity, fortitude, bravery, and wisdom.  I believe they are important virtues for all of us to strive towards.  I would add a fifth; humility.  I try to incorporate these virtues into my daily life and decision making, but I believe Coach Osborne is the epitome of these virtues and someone we should all look up to as an example of how to lead our lives.  Thank you Coach for not only all the great memories, but the example of doing it the "right" way.

Jon Dawson
Minot, North Dakota


Thanks for your many years of exemplary service.  Your focus on execution led to many great Huskers and a pride within the state.  Thanks for putting us in the Big Ten - I don't get much in newspaper coverage now, but can watch most games from Texas, which is better than reading a Longhorn or Aggie write-up about Nebraska. I recall you and Al playing together when you came to Bayard to visit your Grandmother and Aunt Emily.  Such fun.  Al does not recall the arrowhead story as I asked him after we talked at the alumni party prior to the Big 12 championship game a couple of years ago.  Miss your annual visit to those games. We all wish you and Nancy a wonderful and healthful retirement.

Paul & Pamela Plummer
Denton, Texas


I was fortunate to be a student at the university when Bob Devaney took over in 1962.  You were a graduate assistant and were teaching Ed. Psych at the time.  It has been a wonderful experience being a part of that time.  I can remember having classes with Bob Brown, Kent McCloughan, Willie Ross, and many others.  You took over from Bob Devaney, and gave Nebraska your life.   Thank you for having a program we are all proud of.  You have always been a caring person, and a man of incredible character.  Thank you, have loved being a University of Nebraska student, graduate, and alum. You are one of the reasons.  Thank you for all of your years of service, and giving all of us a reason to always cheer on the Nebraska athletes.

Sharon (Miner) Campbell, Class of 1965
Plattsmouth, Nebraska


You were always a great inspiration to me as a person and as a high school football coach.   My family has always admired your philosophy of the game of football and life.  Even though I am not actively coaching right now, I am still inspired by your approach to everything.  In our hearts and minds, you will never be retired from Nebraska Football!

Randy Fricke & Family
New Castle, Colorado


Thanks Tom for being a leader, mentor and role model to so many thousands over the years.

Warren Palmer


I first remember Nebraska football when, as a high school student in Council Bluffs, I watched Nebraska beat Auburn in the Orange Bowl.  I remember QB Dennis Claridge run a quarterback keeper for a touchdown.  I was in the U.S. Army from 1964-67; but have continued being a Big Red fan ever since.  I moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1972 after Nebraska beat Alabama for the National Championship.  I managed to see Nebraska play Alabama in Birmingham in 1978 and also went to the Nebraska-Auburn game in 1983 at Auburn.  As a long time Husker fan, I would like to add my appreciation to the long, long list for your many years of contributing to that great program.  From football to academics and facilities, your contribution will best be measured for the MANY lives that you touched along the way. Thank you for all that you have done and God Bless in your retirement.    

Richard Huey
Trussville, Alabama


You won your first national championship when I was three, another the next year, and your last when I was just six. I grew up to Saturdays of pure domination, unadulterated Husker passion, and all things Big Red. I grew up to a powerhouse that you put together and led. Because of you, I will be a Husker fan for life, even though I will probably never live in your state. As a kid, I didn't know every detail of the game, only stepped foot in Nebraska once a year, and went to school with Longhorn fans. Yet I viewed you as a hero. From what I saw and what my dad told me, you offered me my first glimpse of servant leadership. A humble man in all respects who led his team with a selfless confidence and sincere desire for his players to achieve success in academics and their future careers. But you weren't just a coach and mentor to those players, you were my coach, in a sense - teaching me the importance of a balance between athletics and education, providing an example of humble leadership, and instilling in me a drive for greatness. One can't just grow up watching the most dominant college football programs of all time and not strive for a similar greatness. Not only did you lead the powerhouse that was Nebraska, but you did so with humility - a humility inspired by your Savior. There is no doubt in my mind that your successes in football pale in comparison to the impact that you made on your player's lives. To have such a God-fearing man leading them, instructing them, and guiding them with love had to have been one of the most valuable experiences of their lives. Currently, I attend the university of Texas at Austin and still pull for our Huskers (probably harder than ever). I honestly am so thankful for your continuing leadership and guidance of that program. The Nebraska Football and Athletic Departments are the successes they are today because of you and your decades of devoted leadership. Thank you for your service to the school and your state, and GO BIG RED!

Matthew Kerns
Houston, Texas



Congratulations on your outstanding career and best wishes for a happy retirement.  I was born and raised in Lincoln, so I tell people it says "Husker fan" on my birth certificate.  I had the good fortune to meet you at an FCA meeting in the late 60’s when you were an assistant coach and I was a basketball player at Lincoln Northeast (I had to guard Maury Damkroger in practice). Throughout the ups and downs of your career, you have represented values and a way of living that is so much appreciated beyond your football success. I went to graduate school in Wisconsin and have lived in Indiana for more than 30 years.  While I love these places too, it is people like you that remind me that there truly is "no place like Nebraska."

Bernie Olsen
West Lafayette, Indiana


I want to thank you for all the years you have given to UNL. Your personal life and the way you ran the Husker program should make every Husker fan proud. Our son went to your summer program for two years. We knew he was NOT future Husker material but being BIG Husker fans, even though we lived in Des Moines at the time, we wanted him to experience what the summer program was all about, and be around someone of your integrity and high standards. Both years when we came to get him he was full of joy and thankful for us letting him go there. Husker Nation has a lot to be proud of: a clean program, academics, facilities, etc. all because of you. Enjoy your retirement and may God bless you and your family. 


Russ & Cathy Gies
Thomson, Illinois
 




Congratulations on your retirement.  It seems like only a few days ago that we were busy growing up together in Hastings.  Youth teams were such an important part of life during that time.  There were very few diversions for young people - you were either a player or a fan in Hastings.  I have always been proud to have been a teammate of yours, both at Hastings High School and Hastings College.  It is marvelous to see what you have done in your life, and most of your Hastings friends have enjoyed telling acquaintances that they knew you well as a young man.  My feeling is that you are one of the few people I know who remains unchanged through life from the high standards you set in Hastings and to this day. I also wanted to mention how much fun it has been to be a good friend of your brother Jack.  In addition, I was privileged to have flown your Dad, Charlie, to several away games (I believe Jerry Kerr was usually on board).  As a pilot yourself, you know what a responsibility that was. I remain an ardent Husker fan, and will probably be at the games until I can no longer walk!  We will certainly miss your guidance. Thanks for the great memories.  Take care and God Bless. 

Bill Anderson
Ashland, Nebraska




I’ve been around since you first started with the Huskers as a walk-on assistant.  You have given us within Husker Nation many fantastic years of pride…not just with the football championships, but your gentlemanly approach to sports.  You have provided a wonderful legacy of first rate facilities and coaching staffs which are the envy of many programs. You have also given the University programs which focus on the academic excellence of the great University of Nebraska. Thanks for so many years and reasons to be proud of our Nebraska heritage and university culture.  To be known as having the greatest fans is a tribute to your insistence that attendees at sporting events be true to their Midwestern values…gentlemen and ladies at all times. Best of luck to you and your family as you find new challenges to fill your time.  See you at the games!

Gary Frazier




I’ve been a fan for over 40 years, and have followed the team through the ups and downs, wins and losses.  But through it all, I have many cherished memories which will never be forgotten.  Thank you for what you’ve done for Nebraska, and, most importantly, the followers of the greatest football team of all time.  We will not forget you.  Enjoy your retirement.  You deserve it.

Patrick Kean




As a young boy growing up on the farm-fields near Prague, Nebraska listening to Lyle Bremser on KFAB while watching the Huskers on TV will always be a part of my life I will never forget. I remember the wins and the losses and the respect you demonstrated at all times. I firmly believe that your leadership, dedication and football instincts were not only sound they have been proven over the years to have been ahead of their time. However, for me personally, I will always remember and respect you for the way you carried yourself on and off the field. Very few individuals can match a sports career with a personal career. I believe that you did that with all you have accomplished. Your principles never changed. The degree of character and values that you have demonstrated will once again be proven to be ahead of its time. I wish I could personally say the very best to you and your family. Enjoy the many, many years to come. You deserve it!

Don Sedlacek
Phoenix, Arizona




Thanks Coach for a great ride!  We will miss you – enjoy your time with your family!  God bless! 

Jan Lacy
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


As a young child growing up in Nebraska I remember attending a prayer breakfast in Lincoln where you made a lasting impact upon my life. One of my first speeches in school was based largely around your book 'More than winning'. Thank you for shaping many lives.


Darren Holland
Watrous, Saskatchewan, Canada




Thank you for your years in the sports department at the University of Nebraska, for giving Nebraskans something to cheer for. There were triumphs and disappointments, but there was always excitement.  You will be missed, but you've earned time for yourself and your family. There IS no place like Nebraska!

Liz Tilgner Hamilton
Las Vegas, Nevada




Thank you for all the GREAT memories and all you have done for the State of Nebraska, Husker Football and all the students, athletes and coaches who have had the privilege to know you. Their lives will be forever changed! Enjoy your well-earned rest!

Jon Stallbaumer
Seneca, Kansas




THANKS COACH FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE.  YOU WILL BE MISSED AND NEVER FORGETTEN.

Michael Brinkmann
Fairbury, Nebraska




You have been an outstanding coach and mentor to the whole state of Nebraska and especially UNL!!!  I just want to say thank you for all you’ve done for Nebraska as a state and for the university!!!  You are simply a class act and no one will be able to fill your shoes in my eyes. I met you for the first time after a Shrine Bowl at Memorial Stadium. My friends and I were about 11 years old dreaming of playing at Nebraska for you and throwing a football around on the field after the game.  You shook my dad’s and my hand after the game and said some touching words.  It was a very memorable moment for us. Our Nebraska football tickets have been in our family since 1966.  My dad and I had very fond memories of watching your great teams perform on Saturdays. I unfortunately wasn’t quite fast enough to play for you all in Lincoln, I went to Midland and played for Coach Don Watchorn!  I wish I could be present in Lincoln on Saturday but unfortunately I live in Arizona now. It’s not possible for me but I will be watching on TV though.  It was thrilling to see you honored in Evanston, IL in person this  year at the Northwestern game…some buddies and I attended and were happy to see the Huskers pull out a close one. I wish you a Happy and Healthy retirement for many, many, many years to come and again want to thank you for all you’ve done for NEBRASKA!!! You truly are a Father figure in Nebraska and simply an ICON!!! 

Russ Vakiner
Phoenix, Arizona




Thank you for all you have done for the University of Nebraska. You are a true symbol and definition of the school, its athletic department, and most importantly, Husker football. I am heartbroken to see you are retiring, but I am glad that you took Husker athletics and have it heading in a new direction and look. You have done the best job any A.D. has ever done and I thank you and wish you the best. I will always consider you to be one of the most inspirational people in life, and the greatest coach who ever lived.

Zack Beyers
Woodbury, Minnesota



Growing up in Lincoln, a boy scout working in the Stadium in the 60’s, a member of the Student Card Section in the 70’s and every minute since, I’ve followed Husker Football. I tend to think I am the #1 Husker fan living in Montana. I met you several years ago and remember how your blue eyes lit up when I mention trout fishing in Montana!!!!  What more can be said about all the great things that you have done!  It’s your time-----go fishing and enjoy life!!!

Don Witulski
Stevensville, Montana
  




Thanks, Tom, for caring about the whole student, then and now.

Jack & Jo Kennedy
Pittsburg, Kansas




Thank you for all you have done to make all Nebraskans so incredibly proud of our university.  You always put the student-athlete’s best interest first and your expectations for everyone were consistent with your own behaviors.  Enjoy your extra fishing time and do not be a stranger to the football practice field.

Bill Colgate
Sarasota, Florida




Back in 2006 I was a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  My wife contacted your office (without my knowledge) and invited you to Japan to officiate at my promotion ceremony to Chief Warrant Officer 5.  Quite understandably you were unable to attend, however you did take the time to jot down a congratulatory note.  I have since retired after completing 30 years of service, however I was very impressed then (and remain so) that you would take the time to make my final promotion in the Corps all the more memorable.  Thank you for that, and for representing the state of Nebraska so well over such an extended period of time. Semper Fi!

Dan Olsufka
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Home of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force


To the best coach in college football.  Thank you Coach Osborne for all your years of dedication.  You will be missed. Good luck to you.


Shelley Goll
Jacksonville, Florida




In 1963 when I was eleven, my Dad was transferred to NE (Nebraska City). We began to follow Cornhusker football and I went to my first game when I was 17; so began a life-long love affair with Husker football. You were such a positive force for so many winning years and a few losing ones, too. Thank you for showing all of us how to be a “class act”. My alma mater will not be the same without you. Good luck and GO BIG RED!

Mary Pichler




Thank you so much for representing Nebraska so well all these years.  Your work ethic and personality represent Nebraskans so well.  We appreciate everything you have done for us during your time representing the greatest state in the Union.

Ron Wiley, Jr.
Omaha, Nebraska




I played for Coach Osborne from 1984 to 1989 at cornerback.  Besides my father, he is the greatest man I know.  He is so much more than a coach or a leader.  He is a teacher that produces leaders.

John Custard, Class of 1989


Thanks Tom for teaching a football-crazy state how to win and lose with grace.  You are an excellent role model for today's me-first society.  Thank you for your tireless work for mentoring.  You won't admit it, but you are a big part of what makes the “Good Life” good.

Dave Schwartz, Class of 1992 & 1994
Meriden, Kansas


I have been a fan of Husker sports for more years than I would like to admit.  I want to thank you for everything you have done for the university, the state, the players and all the fans over the years.  Enjoy your retirement and we hope for many years to have a chance to catch that big fish that is waiting for you!!!  Born Red, Enough Said.

Ben & Jan Lang
DuBois, NE




I'm 84 years old, Tom, and a Husker football fan since age seven when my dad took me to my first game, the 1935 season opener against Chicago and Jay Berwanger, who won that year's Heisman.  We won by a big score. I grew up in Lincoln, graduated from NU in 1949, served in the Korean War for two years, moved to New York in 1955 in the advertising business and always followed the Huskers.  I've lived in California the past five years.  Ardie Means was my cousin and he and son Andy had some good years on the team. My son and two daughters live and die with the Huskers' every game.  Guess where they learned that! Don Bryant and I were in an NU journalism class together and kept in touch through the years.  My warmest good wishes to you and your family.  You're the Read McCoy, Mr. O, a true role model.  Thanks for setting the bar so high.  If I could I'd make you an honorary Beta.

Robert McConaughey, Class of 1949
Chico, California




Thank you Dr. Tom for showing athletic teams can be successful with a leader that shows integrity, honesty, pride in his team, and the many other positive qualities that you have. Growing up in rural Nebraska, the radio was always tuned to KFAB on Saturday afternoons. Having a game on TV was very rare. During harvest we would beg dad to turn the dryer fans off so we could listen to the games as they interfered with the broadcast. You not only taught your teams to be competitive but to be good citizens, and you taught any young Nebraskan the same through your actions on and off the field. We are very proud to say we are from Nebraska and are diehard big red fans-even in defeat! Thank you for not only what you did for the University, but what you did for our great state-and GO BIG RED!

Doug & Janelle Bruning
Bruning, Nebraska




MANY THANKS Dr. Osborne for all the memories, for all the things you have done for the University, the athletic department, the football players, and the state.  You and Nancy are commended for your work with the development of the TeamMates program which has aided many youth.  You have been a great inspiration to the athletes and a super influence in many lives in our state. BEST WISHES in the future.  God Bless You!!

Marcee Muller
Tecumseh, Nebraska




How can one say adequate thanks to a man and his wife who have made a national impact? There are no medals, no accolades, no recognition that fits what you and your wife have done for the state of Nebraska and the U.S.A. You met with my parents at one of your inspirational speeches, and cared enough to send them a card when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. You got a football team that was floundering without leadership and fire, and turned them into national champions. You made a difference in so many young men’s lives; not just as a coach, but a father figure as well. You brought dignity and ethics into not only college coaching, but also into the nation’s legislature. How does one say thank you? All we can say, really, is “Thank you and God bless you”. I have watched you throughout your career as an assistant coach, head coach, legislator, and AD, and am proud to say that I am from the same state.

Gwen & Tim Sampson
Cape Coral, Florida




Dr. Tom, you and your beloved players brought my family together while I was growing up in the 70's, and now it is bringing my 23-year old son and I together in the 21st century. The Cornhusker football team is the spirit and pride of Nebraska all across the state, and when I wear red on game days and pass others wearing red, we smile at each other knowingly that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. May God continue to bless you as you show your Christian heart every day by your kind demeanor and humble attitude. 

Margaret Michener
Doniphan, Nebraska



The foundations that Coach Osborne built upon, in heartfelt and dedicated fashion that began with Bob Devaney, are a part of the heart and soul of so many of us across the State of Nebraska. I’m so proud of who I am, and where I’m from – because they are so very, very connected.  Our family farm south of Cambridge are my roots, and my first Husker game was 1972 K-State – I was seven years old at the time and obviously already a big fan – but going to my first game with my dad put the hooks in me for life! I attended UNL 1984-88 – had classes with Steve Taylor, Neil Smith, Marc Munford, Danny Noonan, etc – they were my guys. But for all the years with Tom Osborne leading all the wonderful teams, memorable games, both winning and on the losing end – his strength, faith, and genuine “just work hard, play your best” confidence was always so appreciated. Having Tom’s final seasons play out the way they did was so satisfying and gratifying for everyone – as the clock ran out on that ’94 first title vs. Miami – I calmly sat with my hands folded and just cried.  Tears of pure happiness for Coach Osborne, and how cool that it happened against Miami – it was just too perfect, long overdue, and the emotions of that were unbelievably good.  But it’s all been good when it comes to Tom – he’s everything we need in this world in terms of faith in all that is genuinely good. So much more that could be said…  Coach Osborne, congrats on wonderful career and all you have done for so many of us – the pride in what we are, who we are, as Nebraska Cornhusker family. P.S. We proudly fly our Big Red “N” flag – year-round here in Cheyenne, Wyoming!

Neil Hilton & Family, Class of 1988
Cheyenne, Wyoming



It is with great sadness that everyone in Nebraska learned you were going to retire on January 1, 2013.  We all knew this day would eventually come, but it doesn't make it any easier now that it's upon us.  I can't begin to express how proud I am to have had you as an ambassador for our great state the last 40+ years as an Assistant Coach, Head Coach, Congressman & now as our Athletic Director.  I feel privileged to have grown up watching you lead our Husker teams to so many great wins & memories over the years.  From the many battles with Oklahoma to the great win over Florida in the '96 Fiesta Bowl, which I was privileged to attend with two of my brothers, I will always remember the great intensity and fight that our teams played with while you were the Head Coach. Thank you for being such a great leader, family man and Godly example for all of us to witness over the years.  You have always stood for so many outstanding principles such as honesty, integrity, hard work & dedication.  I hope that you enjoy your time with your family in retirement and catch a lot of fish while you're at it! 

Lonnie Epp
Omaha, Nebraska



Thank you Nancy and Osborne family for the sacrifices you have made for so many years. Thank you coach for your years of sacrifice in service to us all and for the example that you set on the field and off. It's YOUR time now Coach. Enjoy! You've MORE than earned it! 

Bernard Mahoney



Coach, a "thank you" seems so inadequate for all your contributions to the university, the athletic department, and the state of Nebraska.  Your dignity, humility, contributions to society, and acknowledged leadership are examples to all us Nebraskans, and you will always be a source of pride for us. Good fishing to you! 

Wayne Rothmeyer
McCook, Nebraska



This is only my 27th year as a member of the Husker Rope Crew, but it has been my privilege and honor to be a part of the Husker experience. I admire the way Coach Osborne has lived his life and faced adversity with optimism and hope. The lessons taught by him have not only been about the X’s and O’s of football, but the lessons of life. Football is a game that is played by men, but the experience of life affects us all. I know he is very fond of fishing and the similarities between living life and the science of fishing are numerous. We all have to wait until we get a bite on the line to reel in the prize we want. Sometimes we wait all day and never get a bite, but that is patience. Sometimes we get a bite but miss setting the hook and that is called perseverance. And sometimes we land the prize that is on the other end and that is having a man like Tom Osborne as a coach, mentor, and visionary. He will always be thought of as a Nebraskan, today, tomorrow, and in the future. And we will always be proud of his accomplishments and the deeds he has given us. The sacrifice he and his family have made as a result of the countless hours that they have dedicated to making Nebraska a better place to live is never ending. Thanks Coach Osborne, thanks to the Osborne family and know that Nebraskans including myself will carry on the legacy and dedication to making our state a beautiful place to live. 

Alan Shiers
Lincoln, Nebraska



In fifth grade we were told to write a letter to any famous person. Me being the biggest husker fan ever, I chose the one and only Tom Osborne. We had to include questions and some things about ourselves. When we were researching the information about where to send it, I found the number for the Nebraska Athletic Director's office. So multiple times after school I would try to call and ask for Tom but they said he wasn't in, until one day they said they would transfer me to him. I was so excited that I got to talk to Dr. Tom Osborne! Later that month I was the first one to get a letter back from Tom answering all my questions and he signed it. I was so happy and to this day I still have that letter framed! I am probably the biggest husker fan ever and could tell you anything about husker football. You will be missed Dr. Tom!

Jeff Griffin
Council Bluffs, Iowa



You've had quite an impact on my life.  I was born in 1965 in Brighton, CO.  My family moved to Kearney, NE, when I was one year old and we lived there until 1972.  You do the math, and you realize my psyche was molded by the Huskers.  Back to back National Championships, Jerry Tagge, Jeff Kinney, and Johnny Rodgers among numerous other heroes.  I never lived in Nebraska again, yet I still bleed Husker Red. Barry Switzer and Oklahoma frequently made me miserable during the 70's and 80's, but your stoicism and dedication became the values I adored.  The state of Florida (Miami, FSU and the Orange Bowl) made me frequently despondent from the 80's into the 2000's. You had class, and it still shines brightly. Thank you for sticking with option football, it was most entertaining when there were Wishbone and I Formations on the field.  If there was one thing I wish you had done differently, it would have been to call for a Turner Gill option pitch to Mike Rozier for the 1984 Orange Bowl 2 point conversion.  Sigh, I still remember it like it was yesterday. When I was in college at William and Mary, I was visited by a family from Kearney that had lived next door long ago.  They brought me a copy of "More Than Winning," in which you wrote a lovely note and addressed it to me.  It still has the most prominent place on my book shelf, but I was never was able to thank you before.  Thanks for the chance now. Thank you, and not just for the winning percentage and championships.  Thanks for doing it the way you did.  I fear the cut of your jib is not likely to be emulated, because old school pluck, determination, and humbleness isn't flashy and requires discipline that is scarce these days. 

Doug Slocum
Arcata, California



THANK YOU Mr. Osborne not only for your tireless commitment to the University of Nebraska, but also to the people of the state, and also your family and friends.  We aren't personal acquaintances, but you've earned all of my respect and admiration as if we are.  I appreciate your calm demeanor in handling adversity as well as success, your sacrifices with your time and that of your family in allowing you to lead the Bid Red, and the example you set for future Nebraskans. You are a man of honor, humility, extraordinary work ethic and values. God Bless you, Nancy, and your family in the future and you will be missed but thought of fondly.

Brian Jennings
Thornton, Colorado



Thank you so much, Tom and Nancy, for your examples of living by faith and principle through so many high profile decades.  Though I’m enthusiastic about the Cornhuskers, I confess that I read few books about them—but devour yours on leadership and faith. Statistics can be kept on the games—but there’s no way to know how many people in leadership have been profoundly inspired by your humility and hunger to do the right thing. Most of all, thank you for loving us. With gratitude to God for sending you to Nebraska to bridge the transition from one millennium to another. 

Judy Krysl
York, Nebraska
 




Thank you so much for all you have done for Nebraska Football. You will never be forgotten.

Mary Traugh
Las Vegas, Nebraska


Growing up in South Omaha I used to live for each fall Saturday and listening to your teams on KFAB in the backyard and would re-enact the plays by myself, with friends and with family. When you went for 2 in the Orange Bowl and came up a little bit short I was crushed, and being 10 years old, it was very hard to deal with.  My Dad later explained to me the reason why you went for 2 and the type of message it conveyed.  That moment is one I've looked back at many times and it was a moment that I felt has helped make me into the person I am today -  you don't get to where you want to go by taking the easy route.  You have to put in the hard work and learn from all experiences, both good and bad to help you become the person you wish to be.I've never looked at any athlete as a role model in the sense that I wished I was the same kind of person that they are.  I've had many, many favorites over the years, Jarvis Redwine, Irving Fryar, Anthony "Slick" Steeles, Dave Burke, Dean Steinkuhler, Dave Rimington, Mark Daum, Rob Stuckey, Harry Grimminger, Ricky Simmons, Mike Rozier, Turner Gill, Shane Swanson and on and on. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is because you decided to go for 2 in the Orange Bowl and to see the look on your face that it hurt to not convert, but also the look that showed that regardless of the outcome you had to look after your players and put their best interest before your own.  Having seen that and listening to my dad, I will forever be thankful to you and everything that you’ve done for the great state of Nebraska, your players, your coaching staff, your family, the university, the fans and the game of college football itself! Aside from my dad, you are what I perceive to be a real true role model! Thank you, Dr. Tom! 

Aaron McGlohn
Vancouver, Washington



My favorite memory of Coach Osborne was his 250th win as a head coach.  It was a 69-7 win over Oklahoma in 1997, I was seven years old and it was also my very first Husker game.  During the game a rainbow formed over the north end of the stadium and fireworks lit up the sky as the clock hit 00:00; a picturesque setting that I will never forget.  During the second half I was taught a lesson that has stuck with me ever since and will for the rest of my life.  Scott Frost was pulled from the game, I was confused by this.  My dad then explained to me that you don't run up the score on a team, no matter how heated the rivalry, no matter how much you want to.  You win and lose with class and dignity.  Although the score didn't indicate it (Nebraska was simply the most dominant team on the field) Coach Osborne was not interested in embarrassing the Sooners.  Once I realized this, I was able to understand, apart from the Xs and Os, what made Coach Osborne such a terrific coach and human being.  His actions in many ways spoke louder to me that day than words ever have.  I want to thank Coach Osborne and his family for the years of service they have given to not only the University of Nebraska, but the state itself.  I wish Coach Osborne a long, happy and healthy retirement. 

Evan Connell
Papillion, Nebraska



Thanks from our family for all the wonderful years of Husker football that have resulted from your hard work and dedication.  My wife and I were born and raised in Omaha, where we were married in 1969.  Even though we attended colleges other than Nebraska, we have always retained our Husker loyalty. Hope you get to do a lot of fishing in the years to come.  Come visit South Padre Island in the winter time, and we will take you fishing with us. All the best to you and your family. 

Larry & Kay Sawatzki
Sherman, Texas



There are no words to express enough thanks and gratitude for your service to the entire state of Nebraska and fellow Nebraskans. Even those of us who now live elsewhere. Tom, you are an incredible man. Your dedication to your family, God, and your home state is beyond comparison.  What you have done for Nebraska football, young men, and our state, and our NATION, is forever valued, and we THANK YOU. I wish you Godspeed, Coach. We all certainly hope you remain visible, even in your well-deserved privacy. Thank you again Coach and may you always go for two.

Mark Beardmore & Family
Carroll, Iowa



This is a Huge Thank You to Tom! I am 72 years old. I have been a Big Red fan for many years. When Tom took over, the scores started keeping me going. I was a meat cutter in Omaha at the time and we always had the radio blaring during the Big Red Season. I moved out west in 1978. I brought all my Big Red sweat shirts and everything I had that had Nebraska Football on it. My 3 children are now in their 50’s and my 6 Grandchildren are among the fans. Every Saturday all my family gets together and watches the game. We live in Oregon and Washington but Big Red comes first. I found out a few years ago that there are a lot of Big Red fans in the Portland, Oregon area. They have a sports bar where they all get together every Saturday to watch the game. Thanks to Tom Osborne, the Big Red fans live on!

James Lamascus
Portland, Oregon



Thank you for teaching us what it means to be a good person and stand up for what is right.  You looked after your players, not as a coach, but as a father...which I'm sure was not always easy.  Thank you for acting out of what was right instead of what was better for the scoreboard.

Lisa Wiese
Creighton, Nebraska



I was born in 1975 and had the privilege of growing up as a Nebraska Football fan. When I think of all my best memories as a Husker fan, you are attached to every single one of them. I not only have the blessing of being a part of the greatest fan base in the nation, but I get the extreme pleasure of saying with pride that, “I got to witness the career of one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, and he was the coach of my team!” It doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you for your service, your character and your dedication in making one of the greatest passions of my life, possible. Thank you for the memories. I had the honor of meeting you at least once and it was in fact one of my greatest memories to date. I will never forget that day, and the picture I have to remind me of that day will remain cherished until my time on this earth is at its end. I wish you nothing but the absolute best in your retirement. You will be greatly missed.

Andrew Meyer
Omaha, Nebraska



Thanks coach for everything!!!!!!!!!  We are blessed to have had you on our sideline as a state.

Kevin Gragert
Albion, Nebraska



Thanks to Dr. Coach Tom Osborne for EVERYTHING he has done for the mighty state of NEBRASKA. You are and will continue to be the standard by which all coaches, AD’s and citizens of this state will be measured! Thank you for all the memories that we will cherish and hold close to our Scarlett red hearts forever!! GO BIG RED!

Allan Hale, Jr.
Bennington, NE



As a Nebraska native born in '57, you have been the heart and soul of Husker football for me. The mold was broken when you were born. We are all much the better for having been lucky enough to have had you as coach and AD. There will be many broken hearts with your departure. Count mine as one of them. Have a blessed retirement. You've earned it! 

Mark Yost
Ozark, MO



I would just like to take a moment to say thank you for doing things the right way.  As a fan of all things Nebraska, I have always felt confidence that you have always stayed the course on how you've led this university and are a big reason that the Husker fan base has been considered classy and the school is viewed as the institution that it is.   We have taken after your approach, maybe unconsciously, maybe not. You've coached, taught and led many more people than you could ever know, some that you've never even met. One of my biggest thrills was the opportunity for my two boys to have met you. I'm proud to be able to say you were the coach of my team.  You've always done it the right way! Thank you. 

Colby Vetter
LaVista, Nebraska



I'm thankful to be a citizen in the Great state of Nebraska…I'm also thankful to be a Husker fan!  But I'm so blessed and thankful to say I've indirectly benefited as a father, husband and man from the level of character you have displayed in all your years here in Nebraska!!  I can't say enough or probably choose the most impactful words…but THANK YOU TOM!!  You are and will always be, exactly what it means to be a “Class Act.” 

Shannon Jones
Kearney, Nebraska



Coach, there aren't words worthy of ink or paper to express what you have meant to me.  More than just a coach, you have been a role model and example that I have tried to emulate--quite unsuccessfully for the most part. However, your steadfast faith and demeanor have shaped my worldview these later years as I have entered a more full relationship with our Savior. Thank you for being the man you are, and more than all the victories--thank you for following Christ with all you are. 

Todd Jess
Elwood, Nebraska



Words cannot express our thanks to you for everything you have done for our beloved Nebraska! God bless you and your family! 

Mel Halfon
Jasper, Georgia



Back in the mid 90’s you agreed to come to Billings, Montana to help jump start a new FCA chapter. The only compensation was that you would like to do some fly fishing when in the area. At the end of the first day of fishing, after the evening meal, I started to do the dishes in the cabin. While everyone else was content to sit down and relax you came over, dried and put the dishes away. That is the character of this great man. You have represented the great state of Nebraska and its Football team with character and dignity for many years and, with God’s blessings, hopefully for many more.  You are welcome back anytime to BIG SKY COUNTRY. Go Huskers.

Greg Lovegrove, Class of 1973
Billings, Montana



Thank you Tom Osborne. It is hard to put into words what you have done for the youth of this state and beyond.  It is more than just what you brought to the football program it will never be forgotten. Enjoy your retirement.  Your devotion to Nebraska is admirable.  Good Luck with whatever you choose to enjoy in your life from here on out. I tell people I didn’t retire from life, just from a particular job.  So I know life is just beginning in a different way for you. 

The Dudley and Orr Families
Louisville, Nebraska; Waterloo, Nebraska & Baltimore, Maryland


I want to thank Dr. Tom for all his hard work and dedication that he has done and shown for the University and the state of Nebraska.  Being a husker fan since I was born (35 years) it has been great to see success.  Although I have never personally met Tom, I would love to one day have the opportunity, my dream was like many of the Nebraska children, to play in Memorial Stadium, but I was born with cerebral palsy, so that didn't happen.  However, I was still able to get married and raise a family, and I wouldn't change it for the world.  This has allowed me to overcome more obstacles and realize like one of Tom's book's states "There's more to life than the game."  Your leadership and guidance skills are on top.

Thanks again Tom for your inspiring words and leadership over the years.

Eric Kowalski
Loup City, Nebraska


Thank you for the many years of service you have given to Nebraska sports, particularly football.  We have been so blessed to have someone of your stature, excellence, and grace to have been at the helm for so long.  The memories are always going to be with me. You graced our town by agreeing to speak at the FCA banquet in the panhandle. I was privileged to get my picture taken with you. I will always have that in my Husker memorabilia. Again, thank you so very much for being the kind of man, assistant coach, head coach, congressman, and AD in our great state.  What an example you have been! 

Gloria Ryan
Mitchell, Nebraska


I have lived in Nebraska my whole life and like the majority of Husker fans, I grew up cheering for Nebraska. I remember playing outside in our backyard listening to the game on the radio (this was in the 1980’s, before almost every game was on the TV) and hearing all the neighbors' radios echoing throughout the block - all tuned to the game. You were a gentleman of the game and it was reflected in your players and the fans. You gave my dad and I so many great memories (games we could talk about for years afterwards, both wins and losses). My dad passed away in 2008 and the one thing I miss most about him is being able to call him after a Husker football game and talking to him about what happened. I know he is still a Husker fan and I will be to forever. Thanks for all you have done for this state, the university and the football program. Go Huskers! 


Rob Czaplewski, Class of 1993
Grand Island, Nebraska


Tom, Thanks for all the memories and Good Luck in your retirement.

Edward Orcutt
Omaha, Nebraska


I was born in Nebraska, lived there until I was five, then we moved to the Chicago area. Every Nebraska game that was on TV between the years of 1966 and 1973, my younger sister and my best friend, who lived across the street from us, would erect little parade floats out of Red Radio Flyer Wagons....we'd pull those wagons up and down the street cheering and yelling....horns, whistles...banners.... I'm pretty sure the neighbors thought we were nuts. Years ago you went hunting with my cousin, who lives in Grand Island. I was/still am, so very jealous of him! Love you Coach, always will!! I have missed seeing you strategize on the sidelines and being out in the thick of it of it all. Hoping retirement is good to you! Hunt and Fish to your heart’s content! :

Cheryl Todd
Uniopolis, Ohio


Words can't be enough to express what you have meant to Nebraska and Nebraska football and athletics, but honesty, integrity, dedication and caring are a few words that do come to mind. My parents got their first season tickets, the year before Bob became our coach – and we became a "Big Red" family.  I wish you and Nancy continued years of health and happiness.  You deserve it. We love you coach. With highest regards and admiration. 

Becky Enholm
Omaha, Nebraska


Thanks Coach for all you have done for Nebraska and our football program. Words cannot express what Husker nation feels for you! Thanks again and enjoy some great fishing!

Gary Wiese
Hartington, Nebraska


My very first Husker game was the 1981 Iowa State game, in which Turner Gill hurt his foot. I believe we won that game 17-3. My brother and I drove from Bayard, Nebraska to Lincoln. We were standing in a hallway before the game and he walked past in a hallway that our hallway opened up into. He walked past out of sight and a few moments returned and walked down the hall toward us. He stretched out his hand and siad, "Hi, I'm Tom Osborne. Thanks for coming to the game today." He then asked where we came from and we talked about Bayard for a while as his uncle owned some farm land near where our farms were located. It was very exciting to meet Coach Osborne and have admired and been exceedingly proud of the great character and integrity that he has displayed all these years. I honor you Coach. You are truly a man of God and a great ambassador for the University and our state. May God Bless You and Nancy in your retirement years. Thanks!

Tim Erdman
Scottsbluff, Nebraska


Thanks, Coach Osborne, for being a man of class and integrity...a champion regardless of what the scoreboard or pollsters said. Your faith and your values transcended the game we all love and made a difference not only on the field, but more importantly off it. There is no place like Nebraska, and there is no coach/athletic director/leader of men like Tom Osborne. You will be missed.

Nathan Birr
Sheboygan, Wisconsin


It will be while before there is a successful leader like yourself ever again.  Praise be to God for all the lives you’ve touched.  I’m convinced that God blessed you beyond all measure because you strived to honor Him in all your words, actions and deeds.  You put God and people before winning and look what happened.  You became one of the winningest coaches of all time.  There is a lesson to be learned here; the problem is most people are too stubborn or impatient to lean on God. I hope now you will take some time for yourself.  You have earned it and deserve it! Thank you so much, from the bottom of Husker fans hearts everywhere! 

David Hiegel
Deerfield, Illinois


I just wanted to say thank you for everything you've done for the state of Nebraska and the Cornhusker athletic programs.  Living outside of the state of Nebraska, it is a major source of pride to have a man like you represent the values that I treasure as a native Nebraskan.  I was born in Norfolk and have had the Huskers in my blood for as long as I can remember.  I have been around long enough to remember great wins (including 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!!  GBR!!)  and heartbreaking losses, but what I'll remember most is how you did things the right way.  It’s because of this dedication to do things right that I will be proud to be a Husker for the rest of my life.  Thank you, once again, for everything that you've done. I hope that you enjoy your retirement even more than I've enjoyed your time with the program. 

Grant Walker
Indianapolis, Indiana


Thanks for the memories. We’ve been with you every step of the way. You did your state proud and the University in so many ways. We will miss you more than words can express. Here’s to a happy holiday season for you and your family and some good trout fishing next year at Lake Ogallala. 

John & Linda McPhail
Columbus, Nebraska


Thank you for a lifetime of commitment to such an amazing football tradition. Neither the Huskers nor my football memories would be the same without you.

Jesse Hudson
Hesperia, California


You are the greatest college football coach ever? Why? You did it the right way…with class and respect. You always had the best interest of the person at heart. You did it with fewer resources, but more support from all of us! You won at an amazing pace over the long term, something I do not think will ever be matched. GO BIG RED and Thank you! 

Corey Harner
Waukee, Iowa


I have been a season ticket holder for 58 years, and wow, what a job you have done. You will  never be forgotten. 

Milo Stodola
Fremont, Nebraska


I’ve always appreciated how you carried yourself on and off the field.

Paul Nelson


I am so thankful we had you as our coach and athletic director. May God bless and protect you and your family.

Susan Traudt


My Dad got season tickets in the 30s, and I am now the person who gets to enjoy the games from those very same seats. The incident I would like to share actually involves a picture that appeared in the newspaper. Coach Osborne always seems so unflappable, but there was at least one time that he became very upset at a game.  We found the picture in my mom's belongings when we cleaned out her house.  Coach was down on his knees, pounding the field because he was so upset at a call made on the field.  Mom said she had never seen him so upset before or since. I think it gives tangible proof among all the other things he's done for his players, the University and the fans of just how deeply he cares. Thank you, Coach, for all the memories. 

Linda Hammer
Omaha, Nebraska


Though having left Nebraska in 1967 as a nine year old, my love for the Cornhuskers has never wavered, and a big part of that is because of you and your vision on doing things right. The biggest testament I can give to you is that I am just as proud of the team’s performance in many of our losses as I am in our many wins. You always had us play the game the right way! "Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory." Now go fishing!

John Schafer
Newport Beach, California


Tom Osborne has been the face of Nebraska and Nebraska Football for almost 40 years. My first year in Lincoln was 1972. I am so proud to have had Tom as our leader because of his integrity. He has made us all better. Thank You Tom! 

Sal Di Leo, Class of 1977
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Thank You for being a great coach, AD and role model for so many fine young men. May you take time out now to rest, relax, reflect and enjoy your retirement. God Bless You!!!!

Mary Lynne Poole Ellis
Hastings, Nebraska


Here's a BIG "GO BIG RED" THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE!

Andrea Smith
Washington, Kansas


I have lived in Nebraska my whole 51 years of life. My first game, I watched as a ten year old, was the NU-Oklahoma game. I have been hooked ever since. Nebraska football was the way my dad and I connected. I look forward to every season of football and champion the other sports teams that represent Nebraska. Nebraska is a success because of the integrity and sportsmanship demonstrated by Tom, which is spread to the athletic department, students and  fans. We have so much passion and pride in our state. I live in a tri-state area and others that are not from Nebraska can't begin to understand this. I feel very fortunate to be a Nebraskan and being able to watch as Coach Osborne made UNL the most successful university in the country. Thanks will never be enough. As tribute to Coach, we need to carry on the tradition that he has established and never falter from these standards. God bless you, Coach and your family and have a most enjoyable retirement. Go Big Red! 

Susan Martin
Sioux City, Iowa


Thank you for all you have done and all you have meant to Nebraska. Not just the university but the entire state.  I met you once at OSU after a game and had my young nephews and grandson with me. You went out of your way to be nice to them when you didn't have to. I will never forget how nice you were. God Bless you and your family and may you find peace in all you do.

Jerry Johnson
Ozark, Arkansas


We are and have always been extremely proud Nebraskans having you represent us and our Nebraska culture, whether it is on the field,  as our AD or as our representative in the halls of congress.  We have been blessed to have your influence and leadership with us.  May God bless you for your far reaching contributions, and your family for sharing you with the rest of a very grateful Husker Nation.  Go enjoy more life with your loved ones. 

Kent Hartle
Omaha, Nebraska


I'll leave the fancy words to others.  From me simply… THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE. 

Mike Hutchison
Waterloo, Iowa


I agree with Warren Buffett......... “When I think of Tom Osborne, I think of a man of character who quietly but effectively improves the lives of everyone he encounters.” I was blessed enough to meet you twice, once on the sideline of Memorial Stadium and once in Sioux City at a banquet. I consider you to be a great man and I look up to you and try to lead my life as you have led yours. 

Phil Robinson
Bronson, Iowa


I wanted to say thank-you for the positive and profound impact that you have had on my life, the lives of former players and coaches, and the entire state of Nebraska.  I had the privilege and blessing of being asked to “walk-on” in the fall of 1988.  I was from the small, rural farming community of Clarks that was stuck between Grand Island and Columbus. My experience at Nebraska was everything I expected. The friendships cultivated with the players and coaches continue to enrich and shape my life to this day. During my senior year at Nebraska, I had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant alongside, Gerry Gdowski, Brian Carpenter, Tyler Zahn, and the rest of the coaches.  The opportunity to observe you as you worked with your staff, challenging and encouraging players, and watching you deal with adversity and the daily challenges of being a coach was instrumental to me. You taught me many lessons while I was involved with the program those five years, but the most important lesson I learned from you was how to treat people.  Whether you were an all-american, walk-on, or the concession worker at the stadium, you treated each person with dignity and respect.  Each person matters and you modeled that lesson for me daily. Thank you for your lasting legacy, the impact you have had on me, and modeling to all of us how to live a life of integrity, trust, respect, and loyalty. May God richly bless you and your family! 

Brian Pollard, Class of 1993
Clarks, Nebraska


Thank you for the years and years of wonderful memories.  You have made a whole population be proud to be from, or affiliated with, the state and University of Nebraska, not just through football but through your character and teachings as well.  You are a shining example of what is good in the world of athletics, and your legacy will never be forgotten! 

Josh Callahan
Omaha, Nebraska


I have been a Husker fan since 1979 and my home is Colorado! Yes, I took a lot of teasing and even through some rough times I never doubted my team, never bet against my team and have supported every Saturday as “Hug a Husker Day!”  Your commitment to the football team has been unwavering and so prideful, which is the reason I have chosen to support Nebraska Football all these years. I have an autographed picture of you that I treasure. When I look at this picture it reminds me no matter how my day is going, I need to gather my thoughts, relax, rethink and execute.  I have been fortunate enough to attend only one game at Memorial Stadium and it was against Colorado (we won, of course) and it was literally a dream come true!  It was like Disneyland to me.  Everyone was so nice and when I told people that I’m from Colorado, well, let’s just say I made some new friends that day. My wish for you is that you can retire knowing you made a difference in these young men’s lives both personally and professionally.  And for the rest of us mere mortals, you made those three hours on Saturdays nothing short of spectacular.  You are loved by millions and we will wish you the very best because you deserve the very best! 

Deborah Butcher
Arvada, Colorado


Congratulations on the great success in everything you have done and the lives you have touched. Many thanks for recruiting me to walk-on in 1982.  The brief time I spent in the Nebraska program was the best, and I would encourage every young man to chase that dream. Best Wishes and Go Big Red!

Jeff Norblade
Papillion, Nebraska


I would like to say first of all that it has been my pleasure watching you on the sideline every Saturday at Memorial Stadium leading the BIG RED to many victories. I have attended many games over the years and I hope to watch many more. I have many fond memories from watching the Huskers win in the BIG 8, BIG 12, and now in the BIG 10.  I am from Lexington and played alongside with the likes of Jim Murphy, Tim Holbrook, Mike Mandelko and Rob Stuckey in high school. I still travel back to Lexington as much as I can to see my friends back there. My mom lives in Roseland, Neb. My mother worked at the care home where your mother was until she passed away and spoke very kindly of her. May you enjoy your family and life to the fullest for a very long time. 

Bob Barron
Colorado Springs, Colorado


I always believed that whether or not I had a son that played football, for him to be around you and your positive influence for four years would have a tremendous impact.  The life skills they would learn from your leadership would be with them throughout their life. I remember when our church was having a father/son banquet and I called your office to see if you would be our guest speaker.  You weren’t in, but your secretary said she would have you call me.  I was quite nervous thinking what I would say if you would call.  Sure enough you did call and although you couldn’t attend that night, you gave us the name of Brad Jenkins, a tight end for the program that possibly could come.  He did and gave a great message to those in attendance.  Most importantly, I appreciate to this day, the courtesies, respect and sincerity given to me that day on the telephone by you. God's Speed to you and Nancy in all your future endeavors.  And THANK YOU for all your contributions to the University of Nebraska.  This state and its people will always be indebted to you.

Ed Meedel
Grand Island, Nebraska


Thanks for the memories. I have followed your career since you were an assistant under Devaney.  Best wishes all the way!

Bob Jonson
Carrollton, Texas


I would like to thank Tom Osborne for all he has done for the state of Nebraska. As a first grader I met Tom Osborne when our class wrote letters to Tom congratulating him on winning his second National Championship. Much to our surprise Tom Osborne invited our class to read our letters to him later in the year. It remains one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Tom Osborne throughout his years has served as a role model for all the people of this state. He stands by his values and morals and leads by example. He is one of our own that has succeeded by doing it the right way. He won three national titles and an incredible amount of conference championships. He compiled 255 wins in 25 seasons, but in my opinion his biggest accomplishment is 65 Academic All-Americans in 25 years. That is more than any other program in its entire history; Tom did it in 25 years. Tom served our state in the House of Representatives, and then came back to resurrect Nebraska Athletics. Tom Osborne has meant more to this state than arguably anyone in the history of Nebraska. He is an incredible man that I cannot thank enough both as an individual that learned from Tom and as a member of the state of Nebraska. Thank you Tom Osborne.

Jordan Glenn
Shelton, Nebraska


Thank you for all that you have done for the people and state of Nebraska. Thank you for coming out of retirement and ushering in a new era for Nebraska sports. As you may well know, thank you for the many enjoyable Saturday afternoons watching Nebraska football. However, the real thank you is for your work with the TeamMates mentoring program and your work with young kids. Best wishes in your future. 

Mark & Sandy Schifferns
Fort Collins, Colorado


Thanks for making folks from all over the U.S. proud to be called Nebraskans.  As a board member for "Georgians for Nebraska", I want to express the pride we have in the way you have always represented us.  I grew up in Hastings, about 3 blocks from where you lived and still keep in touch with many of my Hastings friends. In fact, we have a group called Husker GRITS (Gals Retired In The South) and get together twice a year; one time is always at my home so we can go to our watch site for a Husker football game. You would know some of these gals; Mike (Applebee) Polk, Deanna (Gray) Maxwell, Kay Cushing, and Ann (Guildner) Piehl come and entertain the rest of the "Georgians for Nebraska" group! Again, thank you for being a role model, for all people in all walks of life, and an inspiration to young folks everywhere. 

Jackie Maggi
Atlanta, Georgia


Thank You doesn't seem like enough for all of the Husker memories you've given Nebraska football fans. I hope you realize that Nebraska faithful all over the world are thinking about you on this special day. As a retired educator, I realize the impact you have had on so many lives and understand that your influence will touch the future. I wish you the very best and again thank you for all the great Husker memories. 

Bill Moran


I want to thank you for all the years of great Saturdays of Husker football. Whether watching on TV, sitting in a pub, or driving and listening on the radio, you could always bet that the Big Red would come out on top. Good luck in retirement and enjoy! You deserve it. 

Dan Brooks
Omaha, Nebraska


Thanks for all the memories, and your devotion to Nebraska Football and Athletics, and the great state of Nebraska. May The Lord Bless and Keep You.

Tom Engler


I've had the pleasure of meeting you under several different circumstances.

•As a parent involved in Drug Free Nebraska
•As a fan of Nebraska football
•As a mentor for TeamMates (I mentored a young lady from 4th to 12th grade. She graduated this last May. It was a wonderful experience!)
•Many years ago, one of my closest friends and classmates at Bryan School of Nursing babysat for your children.
•Voting for you and watching you in Washington.

I really thought-"Why would he want to go there?" -but again, it was to serve Nebraska. Through all of these years, you have been a person I could look to and count on for your character and integrity. Thank you for sharing yourself with us all these years. You have been a constant in these ever changing times. May God continue to bless you and Nancy, and I look forward to seeing you in this new chapter of your life. Well done, Dr. Tom! 

Liz Valek


Thanks for coming in, coach! 

Joe Scarpello
Omaha, Nebraska


I say Coach, but you are much more than that to those of us who remember the 50's and the turnaround in the early 60's. You are an inspiration and model for everything that all of us aspire to be. I don't need to go into detail because they have been well documented. Thank You for all the marvelous memories! 

LaVern Larsen
Fremont, Nebraska


Thank you, Tom, for many years of great Husker football!  You are awesome! 

Mary Rotter
Utah


Thank you, Coach Osborne. You have been the most settling influence in Nebraska athletics of my lifetime. I want to congratulate you and wish you and Nancy many more years of health and happiness. Enjoy your fishing and Go Big Red! 

Tom Abdouch
Wagner, South Dakota


Thanks Tom.  You have been an inspiration to the football program as coach and AD, and an inspiration to the state of Nebraska.  You have truly moved us all and, most of all, maintained and respected all that you represent. Your dedication to all is FANTASTIC!

Bob Doolittle
Loveland, Colorado


We moved to Nebraska when I was just a baby and my first memories of Nebraska football include you standing on the sidelines coaching guys like Dave Rimington, Roger Craig, Turner Gill, and many others.  When I was still learning what it meant to be sportsmanlike and play the game the right way, you were the one who I, and everyone I knew, looked to because you were the head of the sports team, the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.  Over the years I saw you consistently turn out not only great teams but great people, even if occasionally you had to take a stand that was not popular because you felt it was the right thing to do for the individual involved.  I probably admired this more than anything, because it is easier to do the right thing when everyone agrees it is the right thing to do.  But when many people don't know all the details of a situation and see your actions as self-serving, it becomes much more difficult to do what you know in your heart is right.  You always tried to do what you felt was right, and I try to do that every day as well.  Thanks for introducing Husker football to me, but thank you even more for being the kind of person who does what is right, not what is popular.  God bless you and enjoy the next chapter of your life.

Jeremy LaSeur
Billings, Montana


Thank you Coach.

Jay Langdon
Corning, New York


Thank you for your dedication to the state of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska, and all the people you have inspired and touched with your God given talents. Thank you for setting an example to others that winning and excellence is earned by putting others first.  You have been so kind to all!  Growing up watching and rooting for your Husker teams has and will forever be the best Saturdays in my life forever! Thank you Dr. Tom!

Ward Wolfram
Round Rock, Texas


Thank you for all you have done for the fans of Nebraska.  Your success as a coach and athletic director are, in my opinion, unprecedented.  But it is the fact that you have lived this out as a committed Christian, unwavering in your faith and values that makes it all the more special.  You heard a few complaints in your career, so here is a brother in Christ telling you "Well done, good and faithful servant!" which pales in comparison to the "Well done, good and faithful servant!" you will hear in heaven.  Blessings to you!  Enjoy the next chapter of your life!

Gene Walter
Norfolk, Nebraska


My family and I wish to offer you our congratulations for your upcoming retirement. Thank you for your dedicated service to the State of Nebraska.  You epitomize what it means to be a Nebraskan, something that all others outside the State cannot even fathom.  Even though we have lived away from Nebraska for 20 years, we still call it home.  It will be hard to come to terms with the idea that you will no longer be an active part of the University...something that we have known all of our lives. Best wishes for you and your family! 

Brian, Paul, Natalie & Julianne McCallum
Lawrenceville, Georgia



I was at NU in the '60s, and ever since I've been a huge fan of you and Bob Devaney before you were the best! It's a great tradition that you started, and I wish you were still coaching!

Judy Geer
Ewing, Nebraska


Thank you Mr. Osborne for so many happy memories of when my dad was alive. He always told my sister and I he used to prop us up as newborns in front of the games and our first words were Go Big Red!! We would always watch the games with our dad and sometimes even got to go to one! We were and still are very loud and loyal fans. Watching you throughout your coaching years was really something special. We know we will never have someone with your character again. You were so supportive, respectful, fair and kind to your players. You have such a vast knowledge in so many areas, you have truly amazed us throughout the years during and after your coaching years. I live in California (from Bellevue, Ne.), am a nurse for the VA and am always so proud to speak of you, your coaching and teams with our veterans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being such a gentle and soft spoken role model for all of us that have watched you for so many years. You have definitely made us proud! I wish you and your family well.

Jacqueline Friedrich
Loma Linda, California


I have been a lifelong fan and when you first came with Devaney to Nebraska I was 10 years old and one of our neighbor boys, Pete Tatman, played fullback for Nebraska. My father loved sports and shared his love with me.  It has been a terrific ride, but thank you so much for returning as Athletic Director to put Nebraska back in sync with our state. Enjoy your retirement, you certainly have given a lot to Nebraska thru the university but more so through the TeamMates program you started to help our youth grow into solid citizens with good memories of the adults who helped them mature. Thank you so much for all the years and sacrifices that you have made to your state and the university.

Sharon Buel


One of my brother's favorite stories is sacking TO for a 5 yard loss and having Tom helping Paul up and responding with "Nice tackle." My other brother treasures the memory of your visit in 1959 to our home in Ord on a recruiting effort for Hastings college. You've been our hero for over 50 years. Your character and Christian witness has made fans of four generations of our family. We've lived in Missouri for over 35 years and even my grandkids are avid Big Red fans and remain so as long as TO's integrity and legacy is maintained. We'll all miss you. Enjoy your time and God bless.

Richard Martin
Cape Girardeau, Missouri


We have followed your career for many years and have been supporters of yours through the best and worst times! You have been a wonderful coach and set a great example. You imparted your God loving values onto your teams and co-workers and they all have benefited from it!  We are all very proud of you!  Enjoy your retirement and thank you for the many, many years of great memories!

The Smith & Dyson Families


Your role in Nebraska football/athletics has forever changed many young people for the better.  Your patience, courage and morals have created something special at the University of Nebraska that can be carried forward for many years to come.  Having grown up in Nebraska, I fondly remember listening to the games (when not televised) while hunting, camping or just hanging out.  I am proud to be a true Husker fan and also a Coloradoan for Nebraska.  Thank you very much for the joy you and your teams have given us over the years.  We will be forever grateful, thankful and fondly remember you and your family.  Best of luck on your next adventure in your life. God Bless!

David Rhoades
Gypsum, Colorado


Mr. Osborne, thank you for all the great games and wonderful memories.  You are truly one of the good guys and brought so much to not only the university, but the state and the nation.  Thank you and enjoy the retirement.

Larry Bauer
Sidney, Nebraska


Thank you for all that you've done for our university and the state of Nebraska, and also for the steady, positive influence you've provided through the years.  I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement.

Aaron Morlock


My wife, Nancy, did typing for you when you were a student working on an advanced degree in 1962.  She and I were freshmen that year and had season student tickets.  Little did we know that we were witnessing the start of a dynasty.  Frank Solich was in our freshman class.  We have enjoyed the ecstasy and heartbreak of all the games since then from where we've lived - Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Colorado.  We are so proud of our state and what you have contributed to it.  The self-esteem in the state the football program has generated through the years has been palpable and I am sure that self-esteem and enhanced confidence has motivated many a young Nebraskan to accomplish things they may have never imagined, had they been born earlier. You have always been a beacon of integrity and class and have earned the respect of the whole state and all of the college football community.  We thank you for all you have done for your university and your state. We wish you a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement.

Tom & Nancy (Papik) Lisec
Centennial, Colorado


In 1963 I was a Junior at Glenvil High School, and your little brother Jack was one of our teachers and our coach. That is where we learned about Tom Osborne. We were given Husker Knot-Hole Club cards, in case we were ever able to get to Lincoln for a game. I never did, but have seen the Huskers on the road several times. Does the 19-19 tie in 1991 in Boulder remind you of possibly the coldest game the Huskers ever played? I think it was 18 below during that game. The Huskers scored on the opening play of the game. Boy I thought it would be a huge blowout. Tom, during the 70's and 80's your 18 year run of being ranked in the top ten will never be broken. We are still proud of you for going for two at the 1984 Orange Bowl. Thank you for so many wonderful memories, ALL you have done for the game of football, the state of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska.

Marvin Elsberry
The Dalles, Oregon


Thank you Coach Osborne for everything you have done for the great state of Nebraska and for Husker Football. I was raised in North Bend, and I remember every Saturday, my dad having the radio turned to Nebraska Football. My father was one of your biggest fans! Even when my sister dared to get married during a Nebraska - Oklahoma game, he had the radio close by. Now despite living in Indiana, we have raised our two sons to be Husker fans. I have shared your values of respect, hard work and integrity with them. After attending home and away games, they are always amazed by the love for Big Red. You are the reason the great state of Nebraska and Husker Football is held in such high esteem. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it!

Jean Nelson Lonergan, Class of 1983
Fishers, Indiana


As a 22-year-old sports writer in Grand Island, Neb., back in 1988, I was a little intimidated to cover Huskers football. One of my first assignments was to cover the Orange Bowl, it went well and it was a dream job. Several months later, I covered the Shrine Bowl, a high school all-star game that was being held at Memorial Stadium. I ran across you down close to the field afterward and I asked you a few questions for a story. You were gracious and did the interview, but I was stunned that you knew my name. There are dozens of reporters that cover the Nebraska football team and I was just a youngster one year out of college. In the postgame and bowl game settings, I was just a face in a large group of reporters crowded around firing one question after the other. As a kid growing up in Nebraska, of course Husker football was huge and Tom Osborne was a revered figure. You remembered my name. It's a little corny, but it's something that meant a lot to me. Good luck in retirement; you deserve it.

Brad Fuqua
Corvallis, Oregon


Thanks Tom. You are a great man of character and the most amazing coach. I will always remember you as the greatest coach in college football. You will be missed.

Doug Mort
Omaha, Nebraska


Thank you for being such a good leader and role model to all fellow Huskers and non-Huskers alike.  I was born and grew up in Nebraska.  I moved to Pennsylvania at the age of ten but continued to visit.  Football season could never be long enough.  You have built an amazing legacy that makes me proud to be from Nebraska.  The consecutive sell outs, the championships, just the all-around hospitality from all of Husker Nation.  I just want to say good luck Tom, you've earned it.  Thank you!  Go Big Red!!!

Jeremy Nelson
York, Pennsylvania


I have never met you and I wish I could. Back in 1987, my brother-in-law was killed in a terrible auto accident. My young nephew was a freshman in high school and a big Nebraska fan. I sat down and wrote you about my nephew and what had happened to his father. You wrote to him and encouraged him to work hard. Although we all wanted to play for Nebraska, this just wasn't going to happen.  My nephew did go on to play for Ft. Hays State and then on to Kansas State. He told me that at the Nebraska - Kansas State game in Manhattan that he was about 20 feet from you, he really wished he had went up to you to thank you in person, but he didn't want to be a bother. Later that year, I wrote you again and had requested a signed photo. You graciously obliged. He called me to say you had sent him the autograph, laughing that when he received the big envelope from the University of Nebraska, he was thinking that he might have a couple years of eligibility left. Tom we thank you very much for all you have done for the state, college football and for thousands of others all over this country.

Marv & MaryAnn Carlock
Laird, Colorado


When I think of Tom Osborne, I think of a life well-lived.  A stark contrast to the me-first, self-absorbed culture we live in.  Your desire to help people has permeated your life and your impact in Nebraska  and beyond leaves the world a better place.  You have risked your own reputation many times to help young men when others were ready to cast them aside.  Thank you for being the consummate model of a servant leader.

Scott Sorensen
North Platte, Nebraska


Thanks Coach Osborne for being such a positive role model. I never once doubted your integrity and always knew that your actions were for the good of the team and the university. I own several of your books and bought "Beyond the Final Score" for my boys for Christmas. My youngest son is a TeamMate volunteer and I am so proud to say that he is a part of such an honorable program. I became a Husker fan in 1970 when I was ten years old. I remember taking a lot of heat from family and friends since we lived in Iowa. I just remember liking the team and the success they had, it had me hooked and I've been a fan ever since. Thanks again for your coaching, your teaching, and your honorable service.

Dale Streufert
Spencer, Iowa


You will always be remembered fondly by me and my family as a true Christian leader who stayed true to his principles in life and cared for his players and staff at Nebraska like they were family.  I'm sure the players, the recruits and their families quickly picked up on that, and that was a big part of your success and the 3 National Championships you helped bring to Nebraska.  Thanks for your caring, class, and commitment which you always demonstrated both on and off the field and in your coming out of retirement to help Nebraska once again as Athletic Director. People say it's sometimes the small things that show the real mark of a man.  I've wanted to thank you for this for years, now I will.  I'll never forget the time in the early 1990s when I visited my Aunt Mildred suffering with terminal cancer at the assisted living center in Hastings.  She warmly greeted me as always, and quickly showed me the book that you had just sent her along with your touching personal note on the inside cover. You thanked her for all she had taught you as your Sunday School teacher when you were a boy in Hastings, and how you had kept her in your prayers since learning of her illness.  This was in October, the middle of your football season, when you sent her your book.  You'll never know how much that reconnection meant to her, and her family.  She was so touched that you remembered her after all the years, and that after somehow learning of her illness, you had taken the time to send your book and personal note to her in those difficult last few months of her life.  She followed your career all of her life, and was your biggest fan, Tom.  We miss her, and we'll also miss you at the helm at Nebraska.  You gave joy to my Aunt Mildred, as well as to so many Husker fans, athletes, and students over your distinguished career. I shared this story about you and my Aunt Mildred with Coach Bill McCartney out here in Colorado in the late 1990s at Promise Keepers. His eyes welled up some, and then he said, "Yes, that's the Tom Osborne I know alright, he's a friend of mine, he's also a real man of the Lord, and a class act".  I hope my Aunt was up there above us listening to that, she would have really liked his comment a lot.  You are not only loved and respected by your former players, assistant coaches, fans, and students, but also your coaching peers and competitors, a great honor for anyone to have.  Well done, and thank you for all that you gave us and taught us Tom.

Mike Frost, Class of 1973
Aurora, Colorado


Congratulations to you on your fantastic career in sports and politics.  Who would have thought that a red- headed college student at Hastings College would rise to the heights you have.  I am proud to say that I played basketball against you.  I don't remember who won the game, but it was fun.  May you enjoy your memories and savior your accomplishments with the same humility that you have shown over the years.  It's been fun following your career.  Best of luck to you and yours in the future.  Go Big Red!!!!

Thomas Morris


As I was growing up, I never realized it, but I was being brought up into a great tradition behind Nebraska football. I remember as I was in grade school, my father bought a new T.V., several of my uncles helping unload the "mammoth" of a 32" tube TV into the living room, and helping him set it up. The first thing that we tuned in was the Nebraska football game that weekend. I have many fond memories growing up, watching the teams you coached, from enjoying some of the games at Memorial Stadium, to going on road trips to Iowa State and Kansas State. I still remember fondly watching each national championship game being played while in awe. I'm proud to say I bleed scarlet and cream, and wouldn't want it any other way. Well wishes on your retirement, I've never had the pleasure of meeting you in person, though if I do, I would love to shake your hand.

Mike Singleton
Omaha, Nebraska


Thank you for all that you have given to the university, athletic programs, and the state of Nebraska. You are truly an ambassador of all that is good in college athletics, and have been true to who you are over the years. I had the honor to work as a student athletic trainer under George Sullivan from 1976-79, which was a highlight of my college experience. I attended the Penn State game last week and met with George before the game. It was awesome to see George and I was amazed at the tremendous facilities that have been built on your watch. Thank you especially for stepping up and coming back and righting the ship!!!!! Enjoy the years ahead and GO BIG RED!!!

Jay Platt
Fort Worth, Texas


Thanks for saving the football program and all you have done for the university as well as the state. Hope you have a very enjoyable retirement with your family. Thanks again and I hope to still see you at the games.

Bryan Miller
F
remont, Nebraska


We both well know how our times have flown by us. From when we first met  - in the Ed Psych office,  back in '61.   I was leaving with a M.A. (Chair, Robert 'Bob' Filbeck). You were coming back from the pros and also an assistant to Bob Devaney. I'm thinking perhaps you recall the couple times since then when we got to do some catching up visits in your office on Fridays, before the next day's home games, and the last time we shook hands. It was in the Cornhusker ballroom during some fund raiser, and you dropped by to offer a few sage words to the crowd. I think you had arrived back in Lincoln, bone-tired, from Washington D.C..  You may recall I asked you one very brief question:  "Tom, which do you prefer - - coaching or Congress?" You smiled, and said: "Coaching." Best wishes to you and your family for great personal health!

M. Keene Hueftle
Pocatello, Idaho


I just wanted to say a great BIG thank you from all of us in my family.  I was born in Lincoln and have been a Husker fan for as long as I can remember.  When my family moved to California we continued to listen or watch Husker football games whenever they were available. As a parent I want to thank you for the great example of leadership and dedication you have shown during your time at Nebraska.  I certainly appreciate how you live your convictions within the world of collegiate sports.  You have taken young people from all backgrounds and provided guidance and direction for them to follow.  It has been wonderful to watch you continue to demonstrate the highest qualities of a man of character both on and off the field.  For this example, I am very appreciative. May God continue to bless all your tomorrows.  Enjoy your retirement and all of your "new" hobbies.

Cindy Rap Shirley
Santee, California


Thank you for being so generous with your time. I worked with elementary school children back in the early 90's. I had the opportunity to have Tom sign numerous items for the kids each year. Thanks Tom for taking the time to give those kids such special memories. There was one special request I made several years ago that had a funny twist, but showed how much Tom cared. My dad lives in Iowa and is a huge Washington Redskins fan. Knowing that Tom was a Redskin, I asked through a friend if Tom had any pictures of himself in a Redskins uniform that he could sign for my dad. The request was mixed up and Tom spent some time researching the request and reported back that he could not find any record of playing football with my dad. I felt a little bad about the mix up, and after the request was clarified, Tom sent a signed football for him. I was so impressed that even after he found out that it wasn't a former teammate, he still sent the football. My dad treasured the football and the story.  Thanks Tom for that and all the memories on and off the field. You truly have inspired and touched so many people.

David Martens
Papillion, Nebraska


Thanks Tom for all your years of dedication to the Husker football team and everyone in Nebraska who looked up to you.  We appreciate everything you have done.

Monie Karschner
Kearney, Nebraska


Beginning with my Saturday afternoons listening to games on the radio as a kid during corn harvest on our farm, I grew up loving Nebraska football.  My admiration for you began with talking to friends who played for you.  My respect for you as one of the greatest coaches ever began on a missed 2 point conversion in Miami.  That one call to go for the win defined the Nebraska attitude that winning is not everything and it's still how you play the game.  I still believe no other coach since that game would ever make that call. I hope your retirement brings more happy times with your family and a few more fishing trips to your favorite spot.  Thank you for your dedication to Husker athletics, the University of Nebraska, and the state of Nebraska.  Also, my daughter who graduated from UNL in 2011 still counts the day that you stopped by her table at lunch and introduced yourself to her and her friends as one of her best memories during her years in Lincoln at UNL!! Go Big Red and God Bless you.

John Bruns
Central City, Nebraska


From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for all the great years of service you gave the State of Nebraska and University of Nebraska. Whether it was in the capacity as our legendary Head Coach, Member of the House of Representatives, or as the best Athletic Director in collegiate athletics, it has truly been an honor and privilege to have you lead our great team and state. I was born and raised in Nebraska before moving to Reno, Nevada in 1986. I've been a loyal and diehard fan since my childhood years in Harrison, Nebraska. I was, still am and will always be a "Coach Osborne" fan. You have been a role model in my life in which I grew up without my Father, he passed away when I was young. I tried to emulate your high standards, beliefs and values as best I could. Those high standards served me well as I became a Nevada Highway Patrol Officer in 1991. I too am nearing retirement after a successful career. I've since passed on those same high standards and values along with the passion and love for Cornhusker football and all things Nebraska to my son, Mark. My only regret is not having the pleasure to meet you in person or write you a letter or email before now. You have influenced and inspired so many good people over the years, including countless others like me whom you may haven't heard of until now. So, thanks again coach for simply being "Coach" to the greatest college football program in history. Thanks again for being the Athletic Director that resurrected our football program and placed that program into the steady hands of Coach Bo. Thank you for simply being a role model for a youngster like me at the time, who needed a role model, and inspiration at a vulnerable time in my life. Although I'm saddened by your retirement Coach, I do hope you can enjoy your well-deserved retirement with as much passion and joy as you gave the fans over the years.

Mike and Diana Marsteller
Reno, Nevada


Thank you Dr. Tom for all the great memories. You are a true hero and example of what great leaders are made of! My mother, who is no longer with us, truly adored you and lived for Big Red football. She is smiling down on you, the great state of Nebraska and the Big Red! Wishing you the best in retirement and whatever life brings your way!

Michael Gardner
Kansas City, Missouri


Thank for all you've done for the university, the state of Nebraska and college athletics, Coach.  You will never know what an impact you've had on my life.  You are the epitome of what each human being should be.  Your treatment of Lawrence Phillips showed me that you have to do what feels right, even if it is not the easy thing, or the popular thing.  Your perseverance through the tough years of not beating Oklahoma (how sweet that 1978 game was) showed me that it is worth it to get back up and keep going, no matter how many times you get knocked down.  You earned my undying respect that January night in Miami when you decided to go for 2, and not settle for the tie.  Winning that way would have cheapened it.  I have tried to live my life that way, in the life decisions I've made.  I was not taught these things by my parents, and I will be forever grateful that there was someone out there I could look to for that influence.  I just wanted you to know. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.  Well done. Go Big Red.

 

Karen Faust
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


I want to thank you for your dedication to young men and to setting an example of what the words Character and Leadership mean through action and not words.  Each of the young men and women you have encountered over the years has grown wiser and sturdier. I suspect they will pass much of that on to others, including their children.  It is that "paying it forward" that others will pass along from what you taught them that will be your legacy and as such you will never fully comprehend it.  Yet know that you legacy is not football and wins, it is what you instilled in our youth that they will take and share with others long after you are gone.

 

David Bernard-Stevens
Nairobi, Kenya


Thank you and your family for all you have given to this state.  Outsiders would find it odd that an athletic program could define a state and its people, but we define Nebraska as hard-working, ethical, family-focused, and that is how you molded our program and made it a reflection of us.  Win or lose, we are proud of who we are. God bless you, dearest Tom, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

 

Julie Hermance


I have never had the opportunity to meet Coach Osborne, but in 1995 I wrote him a letter asking his advice on what I could do to become a college football coach.  I had graduated from Penn State four years earlier and thought I would get a teaching position and coach at the high school level.  By the time I wrote Coach Osborne, I had been substitute teaching and coaching within my old high school's program, but felt I wanted to do more.  I didn't know if I would hear back from Coach Osborne or not but figured it was worth the shot.  Sure enough, I received a reply back with some advice on things I could do to get into college coaching.  I took Coach Osborne's advice and within 6 months began coaching at east Stroudsburg University, where I coached for four years.  I have never left the small college ranks and currently I am the Head Coach of a brand new program at Misericordia University.  Growing up in Pennsylvania, it would seem natural to have been a Penn State or Pitt fan.  However, I loved the Huskers the first time I saw them and I was fascinated by the Head Coach who handled every situation with grace and humility.  I don't know what I would be doing if I hadn't received the advice I did from Coach Osborne. I thank him for the time he took to reply to my original letter and for demonstrating to all who coach that you can achieve the highest level if success with class, dignity and poise.

 

Mark Ross
Head Football Coach,
Misericordia University
Dallas, Pennsylvania


Thanks Coach for some of the finest memories over the last 37 years of my life.  We never met in person unfortunately for me, but I have been a fan of both you and the mighty Huskers since 1976.  I am originally from South Florida and moved to Oklahoma in 1976, right in the Heart of Sooner country.  I became the biggest fan of Nebraska when you got your very first victory over the Sooners in 1978.  I shed a tear or two when we lost to Clemson 22-15.  I screamed when we "lost" at Penn St. I cheered as loudly as I possibly could when we beat Miami for your first national championship, the stories could go on and on. I just would like to say, THANK YOU DR. TOM OSBORNE for all that you have done for the University of Nebraska.  I could not imagine any other coach than you during the 80's and 90's.  THANK YOU!!!

 

Bryan Hightower
Stateline, Nevada


 

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