Tom Osborne‘s run as the face of Nebraska athletics will, for the second time, officially come to an end in very short order.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Osborne announced that he will be stepping down as NU’s athletic director, effective Jan. 1. 2013. At that point, Osborne will hold the title of athletic director emeritus, but will continue to be actively involved in athletic department operations through July 30, 2013.
A search for the 75-year-old Osborne’s successor has already commenced.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work in the Athletic Department for the past five years,” Osborne said in a statement. “I hope that there have been some good things that have been accomplished during that time. I appreciate Chancellor Perlman giving me this opportunity. I’ve had the privilege of working with some outstanding people in the Athletic Department and have confidence that the trajectory of the Athletic Department is very good.”
Osborne spent 25 years as the Cornhuskers’ head football coach, compiling a 255-49-3 record — including three national championships — between1973 and 1997. After retiring from football, Osborne served as a U.S. Congressman from 2000-2006, representing Nebraska’s 3rd District.
His failed bid in 2006 for the Nebraska governorship was followed the next year by his naming as NU’s 13th athletic director.
Arguably the biggest achievement as head of Husker athletics was his guiding the department in its move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.
“It’s been a privilege to work with Tom,” chancellor Harvey Perlman said. “The move into the Big Ten could not have happened without Tom’s support.
“He has made the facilities stronger and has expanded the department’s role in assisting students through the student life center. He has been instrumental in incorporating research facilities into the athletics complex that build on the department’s reputation for innovation. The university and the state of Nebraska are in his debt for the many contributions he has made to both over the course of his career.”