Tom Osborne is stepping away, for the second time, from the University of Nebraska.
The legendary coach-turned-legendary athletic director announced on Wednesday that he would retire from Nebraska on Jan. 1. He has served as athletic director at the school since 2007.
"At some point, whether you're able to function or not, the perception that you're getting old can get in the way," Osborne said. "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?'"
Osborne, who served in Congress before returning to Nebraska, proved to be a highly effective administrator. He moved quickly to fire struggling football coach Bill Callahan in his first year on the job, vastly improved the school's basketball facilities and also pushed forward the renovation and expansion of Memorial Stadium.
His work as AD only burnished his already sterling reputation, which he earned with a remarkably successful coaching run between 1973 and 1997. During those 25 years, Osborne compiled a record of 255-49-3 and won three national championships. He also won 13 conference titles and his overall winning percentage of .836 places him among the most successful coaches in college football history.
It's unclear at this point who will succeed Osborne. But the former coach, at least, feels the university is "well-positioned" to succeed well into the future.
"Whatever we've accomplished couldn't happen if we didn't have a united fan base," he said. "It would be hard to find one equal to our fans around the country."
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