LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -Tom Osborne is returning to Nebraska to temporarily run the Cornhuskers' athletic department and possibly determine the fate of Bill Callahan.
University chancellor Harvey Perlman announced the return of the Huskers' former coach Tuesday in a news release. A news conference was scheduled for later.
The 70-year-old Osborne's return to the athletic department comes a day after athletic director Steve Pederson was fired.
It was 10 years ago that Osborne finished a celebrated coaching career that culminated with three national championships in four seasons.
Osborne met with Perlman on Tuesday morning to discuss the job, and Osborne agreed to serve until the chancellor hires a permanent athletic director.
``I've spent the majority of my life working with the athletic department at the university, and I want to do what I can at this point to continue in the pursuit of excellence that has been previously established,'' Osborne said in the release.
Perlman said Monday the athletic director - interim or permanent - would be charged with deciding whether Callahan would continue to lead a football program that has fallen on hard times.
``I am very pleased that Tom Osborne has agreed to help bring some leadership and direction to our athletic program,'' Perlman said. ``Tom is committed to making the entire program successful. He brings the right experience, an understanding of Nebraska, and our aspirations. I look forward to working with him.''
Since leaving coaching, Osborne has served three terms in Congress, made an unsuccessful gubernatorial run, taught in the university's business school and worked as a consultant for local college athletic departments.
Though his name is on Nebraska's athletic department headquarters, he has been mostly dissociated from the Cornhuskers' program since Callahan became coach in January 2004.
Osborne recommended Pederson for the athletic director's job in 2003, but their relationship soured after Pederson fired Frank Solich. Solich had been Osborne's longtime assistant man and hand-picked successor, and Pederson did not consult with Osborne before making the move.
Now, with Pederson gone, Osborne is expected to play a major role in deciding the fate of Callahan, whose team is 4-3 this season after a string of disappointing performances.
The beloved Osborne is seen as someone who can unify a fractured fan and donor base.
Osborne's return is a back-to-the-future move for Nebraska. He joined the Huskers' coaching staff in 1962 under Bob Devaney, who established a culture that made football a point of pride in this state of 1.7 million.
Osborne became head coach in 1973. He built upon that Devaney tradition and gave Nebraska a unique identity with its powerful running attack and reliance on hardworking, homegrown players.
The triple option remained a staple under Solich, as did the tremendously popular walk-on program.
Callahan ditched the option in favor of a West Coast system and, in a move that upset the fans, greatly reduced the walk-on program.
Callahan has not completely severed ties with Nebraska's past, but he made it clear he wanted to move the program in a different direction. The public's patience with Callahan has waned as he has failed to go through a season with fewer than four losses.
Along with winning all or part of three national titles, the Huskers won 12 Big Eight titles and one Big 12 title under Osborne.
Of Osborne's 25 teams, 17 finished in the top 10. His career coaching record was 255-49-3.
Upon his retirement, the College Football Hall of Fame waived its customary three-year wait for entry and inducted Osborne in December 1998.

Recent NCAAF Discussions

2016 NFL Draft Props on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
Test on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
CG releases Divisional Odds on Wed, Mar 2016 by Blade

NCAAF Headlines

  • (STATS) - Cornerback Harlan Miller played opposite Robert Alford in the Southeastern Louisiana secondary as a freshman and then watched him get drafted in 2013.
    Miller grew up pretty quickly a...
  • EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Oregon quarterback Dakota Prukop had two main goals this spring in Eugene. The graduate transfer from Montana State wanted to build relationships and control the offense.
    Af...
  • (STATS) - Fordham football is intent on remaining at a high level following the departure of the architect of a four-year run of success.
    New coach Andrew Breiner liked what he saw during spri...
  • (STATS) - Montana football coach Bob Stitt says Tyrone Holmes plays every day at "a hundred miles an hour."
    The Jacksonville Jaguars caught up to the former FCS All-American.
    The AFC Sout...
  • (STATS) - Players from FCS programs selected in the three-day NFL Draft at Chicago:
    Philadelphia Eagles (1st round, No. 2 overall selection) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State, 6-5, 237
More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Hokies suspend two defenders The Justin Fuente era of Virginia Tech football isn’t off to a great start, as two defensive players have been indefinitely...
Thumbnail Buckeyes get 100K for Spring Game Ohio State may not have made the...
Thumbnail Petrino gets new contract Louisville is happy with the direction that Bobby Petrino is taking the football program and the Cardinals have given the head...
Thumbnail Texas, ND to open season on a Sunday Texas and Notre Dame are set to kickoff the season in a big way, as they have agreed to play on Sunday.
Thumbnail Hokies to honor Frank Beamer Frank Beamer will no longer be the coach at Virginia Tech but the Hokies are still keeping him as part of the...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages