This year’s Big Ten Icons series celebrates 12 of the most legendary coaches in the history of current Big Ten institutions.
The Osborne episode of Icons includes new one-on-one interviews with Osborne, Bo Pelini, Trev Alberts, Johnny Rodgers, Irving Fryar, Tommie Frazier, Bobby Bowden and many others.
In the episode, Rodgers says, “Winning isn’t everything, but here in Nebraska, we rate it right up there with oxygen.” Alberts says, “Tom Osborne and the success of Nebraska football have literally changed the entire landscape and profile of the entire state.”
Osborne was Nebraska’s head football coach for 25 seasons (1973-1997), the longest tenure in school history. Under Osborne’s direction, the Cornhuskers amassed a 255-49-3 record. All 25 of his Husker teams won at least nine games and went to a bowl. Osborne guided the Huskers to back-to-back national titles in 1994 and 1995, and finished his career by sharing the 1997 title with Michigan. Nebraska’s back-to-back national titles in 1994-95 made Osborne the first coach to accomplish that feat since Bear Bryant led Alabama to titles in 1978-79.
The series, which will feature one coach from each Big Ten university, runs through the end of football season and into the winter. The other coaches in the series are:
- Illinois’ Lou Henson: Won 423 games in 21 years as the head basketball coach at Illinois… guided the Illini to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1989 Final Four and the Elite Eight in 1984… his 214 conference wins ranked third all-time at the time of his retirement.
- Indiana’s Bob Knight: Holds the NCAA record for most coaching wins at the NCAA Division I level with 902… was the head basketball coach at Indiana from 1971 to 2000… led the Hoosiers to 11 conference crowns and NCAA titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987… was honored six times as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
- Iowa’s Dan Gable: Led the Iowa wrestling program from 1977 to 1997 and to 17 NCAA titles, including nine consecutive championships… guided the Hawkeyes to 21 straight Big Ten titles as head coach… posted a 355-21-5 career dual meet record… coached the United States Olympic freestyle wrestling team in 1980, 1984 and 2000.
- Michigan’s Bo Schembechler: Produced a 194-48-5 record in 21 seasons at Michigan… won or shared 13 Big Ten titles… named as Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times… never had a losing season… 15 of his Michigan teams finished in the Associated Press Top 10… every four-year player during the Schembechler era left Ann Arbor with a Big Ten championship ring.
- Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote: Won 339 games in 19 years as the head basketball coach with Michigan State… took Michigan State to three Big Ten championships and nine NCAA Tournaments, including four Sweet 16 appearances, two berths in the Elite 8 and the 1979 national title.
- Minnesota’s Herb Brooks: Won three national championships in his seven seasons at the helm of the University of Minnesota hockey program, including titles in 1974, 1976 and 1979… coached the United States’ gold medal Olympic hockey team in 1980, better known as the “Miracle on Ice” team.
- Northwestern’s Kelly Amonte-Hiller: Entering her 11th year as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Northwestern… has transformed the Wildcats into one of the elite college programs in any sport… constructed one of the most impressive dynasties in NCAA history by winning six national titles in seven seasons… owns a 29-2 NCAA Tournament record and an overall mark of 162-10 since 2004.
- Ohio State’s Woody Hayes: Spent 28 seasons as the head football coach at Ohio State and won 13 conference championships and national titles in 1954, 1957 and 1968… led the Buckeyes to eight Rose Bowl appearances and was a three-time recipient of the College Football Coach of the Year Award.
- Penn State’s Joe Paterno: The Nittany Lions’ head football coach since 1966… the first FBS coach to reach 400 career victories, the most of any FBS football coach… has coached more bowl game wins than any coach in history… has coached two national championship teams and five undefeated teams… one of three active coaches already inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Purdue’s Gene Keady: Won 512 games in 25 seasons as the head basketball coach at Purdue… took the Boilermakers to 17 NCAA Tournaments, including a pair of Elite Eight appearances and five trips to the Sweet 16… won or shared six Big Ten Conference championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times… finished his Purdue career with the second-most coaching wins in Big Ten history.
- Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez: Resurrected the Badgers football program into a national power… spent 16 seasons as the head coach at Wisconsin, winning Big Ten titles in 1993, 1998 and 1999… Alvarez is the only Big Ten coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls and the only coach in college football, regardless of conference, to win three Rose Bowls.
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