Osborne named Walter Camp's "Distinguished American"
Former University of Nebraska Hall of Fame head football coach and current athletic director, Tom Osborne, is the 2012 recipient of the Walter Camp Football Foundation "Distinguished American" Award.
The award is presented each year to an individual who has utilized his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done.
Past recipients of the Walter Camp Distinguished American honor include nationally-respected sportscasters Pat Summerall and Keith Jackson, all-purpose personality Regis Philbin, NBC Sports Executive Dick Ebersol, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, world-renowned entertainer Bob Hope, and former college coach Eddie Robinson. Last year's winner was former Denver Broncos running back, and Syracuse All-American, Floyd Little.
"We are honored to recognize of of college football's all-time greats," Foundation president John Marks said. "Coach Osborne's passion, integrity and commitment to excellence have allowed him to make a difference in the live of many."
The Hastings native was a three-sport standout in high school at Hastings High and was named the state's high school athlete of the year in 1955. Osborne then starred in football and basketball at Hastings College, graduating in 1959.
Osborne was then drafted by the Washington Redskins. He played two seasons for them and one for San Francisco as a wide receiver.
He returned to Nebraska and earned a M.A. in educational psychology from Nebraska in 1963 and a doctorate in educational psychology in 1965.
He served as a graduate assistant for Bob Devaney then became a fulltime member of the staff before replacing Devaney as head coach following the 1972 season.
Osborne directed the Huskers for 25-years, the longest tenure in school history. Nebraska teams recored an impressive 255-49-3 record and won three national championships(1994, 1995 and 1997) in his his tenure. His 255 wins are sixth-most all-time among major college football coaches. Osborne's teams won 13 Big Eight and Big 12 conference titles, including six in his final seven seasons. All 25 of his teams won at least nine games and went to a bowl game, while 15 teams won 10 or more games in a season.
Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2000, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, ESPN honored him as the coach of the decade for the 1990's.
After coaching Osborne served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2007 he was named as the 13th athletic director in Nebraska history. He will retire from that position January 1, 2013.
Osborne and his wife Nancy have three children and four grandchildren. They founded the TeamMates mentoring program, which 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, as well as other major award winners, and members of the 2012 Walter Camp All-America team, will be honored at the organization's 46th annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
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