The playing field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE is called Tom Osborne Field in honor of a man, who in 25 seasons as Nebraska head coach, built a total program based on more than winning.
Osborne was named Nebraska's head coach following the 1972 season and under his direction, the program achieved remarkable success, exceeding any in its rich history. Osborne's 25-year coaching career came to a poetic end in the 1998 Orange Bowl. In his final game, the Huskers defeated No. 3 Tennessee, 42-17, giving Osborne a share of a third national title in four seasons. The victory left Osborne as the first coach in college football history to retire as a reigning national champion. He also left the sideline with the nation's best active winning percentage (.836, 255-49-3), a mark that still ranks sixth all-time among Division I coaches.
Osborne guided the Huskers to back-to-back national titles in 1994 and 1995, then capped his career by sharing the 1997 title with Michigan. Nebraska's back-to-back national titles in 1994 and 1995 made Osborne the first coach to accomplish that feat since Bear Bryant in 1978-79.
His achievements were so highly regarded that the National Football Foundation waived its three-year waiting period so that he could be inducted into its Hall of Fame in December of 1998. He is one of only four coaches in history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period waived.
After retiring from football in 1997, Osborne found several ways to stay active in his home state. His most visible post-coaching foray came in the political arena, as he served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district from 2000 to 2006. He also made a gubernatorial bid in 2006 before turning to academia.
Widely known for his leadership, integrity, honor and compassion, Osborne has poured time and effort into building a unique mentoring program within the state. The TeamMates program, founded by Tom and his wife, Nancy, in 1991, provides support and encouragement to school-aged youth with the goal of seeing children graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education.
Osborne still actively provides leadership in the college football ranks. He served on the College Football Playoff Committee in 2014 and 2015, and had previously been a voter on the coaches poll for the Master Coaches Poll.
Osborne and his wife, Nancy, have three adult children, Mike, Ann and Suzanne and four grandchildren.