Osborne to stay after contract expires

OMAHA, Neb. -- Former coach Tom Osborne is sticking around as Nebraska's athletic director.

The 72-year-old Osborne had indicated he would step down when his contract expires in summer 2010. But the university said Wednesday that Osborne has agreed to stay.

Osborne became athletic director in 2007 on an interim basis after Steve Pederson was fired. The interim tag was removed a few months later after Osborne hired football coach Bo Pelini.

Osborne was head coach for 25 years, winning national titles in 1994, '95 and '97. He was 255-49-3 before retiring after the 1997 season. He later served three terms in Congress and lost a Republican primary bid for governor.

"I enjoy working with student-athletes, coaches and other athletic department personnel and hope that together we can serve the people of Nebraska and the university well," Osborne said.

Osborne and Chancellor Harvey Perlman will review his position annually. When Osborne is replaced, an "open process" will be used in deciding the top job in the high-profile sports program, Perlman said.

Talk of a successor for Osborne was prominent earlier this spring when the University of Nebraska at Omaha was interviewing athletic director candidates. Some boosters questioned the candidacy of former Nebraska football star Trev Alberts because they thought he would use the job as a stepping stone to become athletic director in Lincoln.

Alberts denied having such a plan and the former broadcaster and NFL player became UNO's athletic director in April.

Perlman said Osborne and Nebraska's coaches will have input on the next athletic director at the state's flagship campus, but the school will also use a selection committee with representatives from the athletic department, university and outside community.