A decade after retiring as head coach of the Nebraska football team, Tom Osborne returned in 2007 to revive not only what was a sinking ship under Bill Callahan, but the athletic department as a whole. Today, it was announced that Osborne’s chapter as a member of the Cornhusker staff in an official capacity will end as 2013 begins
“As of January 1, I will step aside as athletic director,” he said during a press conference held in Lincoln earlier today. In reference to finding a replacement, Osborne mentioned the work that Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman will be putting in. “Obviously, it’s got to be an open process. The decision will be his. I plan to probably be around for six months or so after January 1 to help any way I can,” Osborne said.
He went on to say that he feels the program is in a good position to succeed, that recent coaching hires were solid ones and former players felt good about visiting. He also pointed out the overall unification of fans and how that allows a state with such a small population base to be competitive.
Said Osborne of Perlman, “I’m honored that he would’ve asked me to do this job five years ago. Hopefully, it’s worked out well.”
Nebraska’s chancellor praised Osborne as a key factor in Nebraska’s successful move to the Big Ten. He went on to say that he was in awe of the national respect the former Husker football head coach receives. “He, of course, has my personal thanks that he’ll stay through the transition and I know he’ll be a part of this athletic department as long as he wants to be,” said Perlman
Perlman then addressed multiple points in regards to the search for Osborne’s successor. According to the chancellor, the search will be private as he feels the best candidates will not want to take place in a public search.
National consultant Jed Hughes, whose most recent accomplishments include finding Michigan’s new athletic director and the Big 12’s newest commissioner, has been hired as a consultant to assist. He’s been made aware that experience and credentials aren’t the only factors in a desired candidate, but also “personality and viewpoint that has to fit with Nebraska,” according to Perlman.
Nebraska’s chancellor has also brought on 12-15 individuals as advisers. The panel includes coaches, student-athletes and people from Nebraskan communities. Osborne will also play a role in the eventual decision. Perlman said that he would like to have a successor in place “reasonably soon.”
He half-joked that he allowed the media to know about the search’s existence so they can follow his license plate, but everyone attending the press conference and watching live streams via the Internet know there’s more truth than fiction to that statement.
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Photo Credit: Huskers.com