Tom Osborne has announced his retirement from his position as the University of Nebraska’s Athletic Director after five years on the job.
Osborne had one of the most successful coaching runs in college football history and also served on Congress before he took up his position as the school’s athletic director, reports Fox Sports.
The 73-year-old former coach announced the decision at a news conference on Wednesday, adding that he will officially retire on January 1, but that he will stick around for several months as needed to help out. Osborne stated:
”At some point, whether you’re able to function or not, the perception that you’re getting old can get in the way. I don’t want to be one of those guys everybody is walking around wringing their hands about, what are they going to do with him. That happens sometimes.”
Under Osborne’s watchful eye, the University of Nebraska has built a new basketball practice facility and has also entered into a public-private partnership for a 16,000-seat basketball arena in downtown Lincoln. The new arena is scheduled to open in time for the 2013-2014 season.
ESPN notes that when Tom Osborne took over as Nebraska’s athletic director, the school’s football was heading toward a 5-7 season that included some of the most embarrassing losses in the program’s history. Osborne stated:
“The first day that I was on the job, it was 8 o’clock in the morning and I walked into a meeting with the executive team and we had maybe two or three mental-health counselors who were talking to them about stress reduction. I thought, ‘This is odd.’ I wouldn’t say things were awful, but things were a little fragmented and some people quit and some were thinking about quitting. So it was kind of a difficult time, but people pulled together very quickly.”
But Tom Osborne turned the team into a Big 10 contender, proving major athletic donor Dale Jensen’s thoughts that Osborne was the perfect man for the job.