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Nebraska Coaches

Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne, who led the Huskers for 25 years,tom osborne former nebraska coach has brought about the most wins in the history of the program. Osbone coached from 1973 until 1997. His final stats are 255 wins, 49 losses, and 3 ties. Simply outstanding. All of Osborne's team won at least nine games each season. Five of his squads won twelve or more games. After retiring from the head coaching position, Tom Osborne was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District in 2000. Osborne is currently the athletic director at the University of Nebraska - LIncoln. He was appointed this position to take over for the fired Steve Pederson in October of 2007. Notable personnel changes conducted by Osborne and his staff include the firing of Bill Callahan and the hiring of former LSU defensive coordinator, Bo Pelini.

Frank Solich

Frank Solich was Osborne's successor, who was a former Husker player and assistant coach. frank solich nebraska coachSolich was the freshman coach from 1979 to 1983 and the running backs coach from 1983 until 1997. Coach Solich has big expectations as a replacement for Osborne. Frank started off his first season with a 5-0 record, before losing to Texas A&M 21-28. The year finished out with a 9-4 record, resulting with the most losses since 1968. This record would later be set by Bill Callahan in 2007, finishing with a 5-7 record. In the next three seasons, Solich improved. His season records were 12-1 in 1999 and 10-2 in 2000. 2001 looked like a national championship season, with Eric Crouch under center as quarterback. The Huskers were stunned by Colorado in the final regular season game and lost 62-36. The 62 points scored on Nebraska were the most put up by an opponent up until that point. Bill Callahan managed to oust this record as well, when Nebraska was beat by Kansas in November 2007 with a score of 76-39. In spite of this defeat, the Cornhuskers still played in the BCS Championship game where the Miami Hurricanes beat them handily 14-37. In 2002, the Huskers went 7-7. Several streaks also came to end in 2002 as well. These ended streaks were: 40 years of winning seasons, 21 years ranked in the top 25, and 44 years since finishing with three straight losses. After this season, Solich fired a few of his staff and hired the (now current head coach) Bo Pelini as his defensive coordinator and (current Offensive line coach) Barney Cotton. The following year Solich improved to a 9-3 record. Nonetheless, Athletic Director Steve Pederson fired him. Solich was fired after a come from behind win against Colorado. "I refuse to let this program gravitate to a level of mediocrity," Pederson said of his reasoning. Pederson would eventually be ridiculed by fans and the media for this statement about Solich. Pelini was named as the interim head coach for the Mastercard Alamo Bowl in 2003. The Pelini-led team beat Michigan State 17-3 in the Alamodome.

A forty day coaching search took place after Pelini's win and the 2003 season. Athletic Director, Steve Pederson searched for the new Husker coach by himself. While this was taking place , rumors were abound on internet bulletin boards and traditional news media abou who was being considered for the job. Houston Nutt (head coach at the University of Arkansas) was rumored to have been offered the job, but this was later denied by Nebraska officials. Bill Callahan (former coach of the Oakland Raiders) was finally hired as the new head coach at Nebraska.

Bill Callahan

Hiring Bill Callahan was a shock for many Husker fans, as this would be a break in tradition in numerous ways. bill callahan husker coachFirst off, Callahan wasn't picked by the preceding head coach, as was Osborne and Devaney. Secondly, Callahan implemented the West Coast Offense at Nebraska. Nebraska had its roots in a run based "option" offense. This new system, a balanced attack of pass and run, would be a definite change from what Husker Nation was used to. In the end, the West Coast Offense would be criticized as a "bad fit" for Nebraska. Callahan would also be despised by many for changing tradition and bringing an unsuitable system to a college team that is meant for professioinal players. Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young has been quoted as saying, "...it takes at least two years to fully understand the West Coast Offense."

Callahan ended up with a 5-6 record for his first season at Nebraska (2004). This was Nebraska first losing season in over 40 years. Husker Nation was astonished! The Huskers did improve slightly the next two years, going 8-4 in 2005 and 9-5 in 2006.

Athletic Director Steve Pederson continued to alienate himself from the fans and ex-players. Most people would agree that he didn't start off very well by not consulting with Osborne about firing Solich. Pederson reached out to Huskers that were currently in the NFL, but seemed to ignore and disrespect other former Husker players. One area of speculation is he didn't allow former Huskers on the sideline, not even Johnny Rodgers. Keep in mind that Rodgers was named the Cornhusker's "Player of the Century". Getting tickets was also an issue. Jason Peter (All-Century team member) tried to purchase tickets for a home game and was turned down. Another symbolic move that Steve Pederson made was removing all of the pictures of Cornhusker All-Americans and Hall of Famers from the walls outside of the coaches offices. He replaced these pictures with photos of current players. Many boosters were disgusted with these foolish choices and threatened to stop donating to the athletic department. Change was in the air, my friends.

Pederson was fired on October 15, 2007. The following day, Chancellor Harvery Perlman announced that former coach,. Tom Osborne would be taking over as interim athletic director. Husker Nation celebrated and danced in the streets! The first day on the job, Osborne made progress towards restoring the Nebraska football program to it roots. He emailed every former player, letting them know that a limited number of sideline passes would be issued and all would receive free game tickets. He had the pictures of the former All-Americans and Hall of Famers put back on the walls outside of the coaches offices.

Bo Pelini

bo pelini new husker coachWith the Huskers finishing with a 5-7 season and a tail whooping by Kansas (76 points), Bill Callahan was fired. Soon thereafter, the search for a new head coach began. The top two candidates were Turner Gill, the head coach at Buffalo and Bo Pelini, defensive coordinator at LSU. Around December 3, 2007 Osborne hired Pelini, and the Husker Nation once again had faith restored in their football program.




Osborne Announces New Nebraska Coach, Bo Pelini