On Wednesday night, a legend was honored.
Former Nebraska football head coach Frank Solich was awarded the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the Outland Trophy award dinner on Jan. 9. For Osborne, the night was special as he was able to give the award to his successor.
“I think there are very few people who have accomplished as much in the world of football as Frank,” Osborne said to Huskers.com. “A lot of people don’t realize that, but he was a great football player at Nebraska, and a great assistant.”
After playing fullback for the Huskers, Solich coached under Osborne for 19 years as an assistant coach before taking over the reigns as head coach in 1998. In his career as head coach, he won the 1999 Big 12 Championship, three Big 12 North Division titles and partook in the 2001 National Championship game.
In his six seasons he had a 58-19 overall record, good for the seventh best winning percentage in school history, just behind the likes of Osborne and Bob Devaney. With his record, Osborne felt Solich was very deserving of the award.
After being fired in 2003, Solich moved back to his native state of Ohio, where he has served as head coach for Ohio University since 2005. While he hadn’t returned to Nebraska until this week, his homecoming was a special night and brought out many familiar faces like current head coach Scott Frost.
For Solich, receiving the award named after his long-time mentor was remarkable.
“I spent 19 years underneath Tom and got attached to what he was all about and how he treated people,” Solich said.
Solich will take over as president of the American Football Coaches Association next year.