Solich honored to be back in Nebraska to receive Osborne Legacy Award
Former Nebraska and current Ohio head coach Frank Solich made his first public media appearance in the state since being fired in November of 2003.
Before that Solich spent the better part of his life in Nebraska as a player (1962-65), high school coach (Omaha Holy Name and Lincoln Southeast 1966-78), Husker assistant coach (1979-1997) and head coach (1998-2003).
Since being fired by former Athletic Director Steve Pederson in 2003, Solich had not publicly been recognized for his time at Nebraska. On Wednesday, he’ll receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the Outland Trophy dinner in Omaha.
“I appreciate the fact that Coach Osborne’s legacy award has been extended to me,” Solich said during a short press conference at Boys Town in Omaha on Tuesday. “Obviously, anything with his name attached to it is special in my mind. He’s been such a huge part of what I’ve been all about in the coaching business, so it will be a special evening (Wednesday).”
The timing for Solich’s return also makes sense at this point. With new leadership at NU, along with Scott Frost’s return, this was the perfect year to have Solich receive the Osborne Legacy Award.
“I have not intentionally stayed away from Nebraska,” Solich said. “That has never been on my mind. In terms of coming back, there’s a large group of guys that I played with that I’ll get a chance to be around. There’s coaches like Coach Osborne who I coached under for 19 years. All those things, and a lot of people that were supportive of me that still are, and I still have some contact with. It’s just great to be back to see people.
“(Nebraska) has always been a big part of my life, obviously. I spent more time in the state of Nebraska than I have anywhere else in my life and, obviously, it’s a long life at this point. You can tell I spent a lot of years here, and they were all great years here.”
Solich was also quick to point out that he holds no ill-will towards Nebraska, and his coaching career has moved forward nicely at Ohio, where he’s turned them into the most consistent program in the Mid-American Conference.
“Things have worked out really well for me,” Solich said. “I love what I’m doing. I couldn’t be any happier being around the coaches and the players that I am around. I think I’ve been fortunate in this business – only two moves in 52 years. That’s pretty special, and that’s unique in the business. A lot of good things have happened to me. As far as Nebraska is concerned and being special for them, I don’t see it that way. This is special for me. Getting the Tom Osborne award is special for me.”
When looking at a program like Nebraska, Solich said he also understands the expectations put forward by the fan base.
“Coaching is a tough business, and I understood that going in,” Solich said. “You don’t have it happen like it did for Coach Osborne all the time in the game. There’s a lot of people that no matter what you get done want it to be a little better, and I understand that. That’s the nature of the business. I don’t think that I was ever truly shocked. It’s just what it was. I was able to move on very quickly and just continue to do what I love.”
Solich will officially receive his Tom Osborne Legacy Award at Wednesday night’s Outland Trophy dinner at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Omaha.