The University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Plaza honors all 24 Husker Athletic programs and the elite student-athletes and coaches who have continued the tradition of excellence at Nebraska.

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Tom Osborne HOF

Tom Osborne

Football, 2018

Tom Osborne spent more than four decades at Nebraska, serving as an assistant football coach (1962-72), head football coach (1973-97) and athletic director (2007-12). One of the greatest coaches in college football history, Osborne won at least nine games in each of his 25 seasons as head coach, compiling a 255-49-3 record. His 255 victories rank eighth all-time and his .836 winning percentage ranks sixth and is the highest of any person who coached for more than 16 seasons. Osborne led Nebraska to 13 conference titles and three national championships. His achievements were so great that the College Football Hall of Fame waived its customary three-year wait for entrance into the hall and enshrined Osborne in December of 1998. Osborne's last five Nebraska teams combined for a 60-3 record and three national championships. Nebraska won back-to-back national titles in 1994 (13-0) and 1995 (12-0), when NU became just the second school to post back-to-back perfect national championship seasons. After an 11-win season in 1996, the Huskers sent Osborne out on top with another national title in 1997 (13-0) in his final season. Osborne was the first coach in modern college football history to post two seasons with a 13-0 record or better. He was an eight-time conference coach of the year and two-time national coach of the year. The winningest coach in Nebraska football history, Osborne coached seven College Football Hall of Famers, six Outland Trophy winners, three Lombardi Award winners and two Heisman Trophy winners. Upon his retirement, the playing surface at Memorial Stadium was renamed “Tom Osborne Field” in his honor. Osborne, who earned both his master's degree and Ph.D. from Nebraska while he was an assistant coach, served Nebraska for three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives following his coaching career. Osborne returned to Nebraska as Athletic Director in 2007 and served five years in that role. He played an instrumental part in the Huskers' move to the Big Ten Conference in 2011.


Merlene Ottey

Women's Track and Field, 2015

Merlene Ottey is the most decorated student-athlete in the history of Nebraska Athletics. Ottey won 14 individual national titles and earned 24 All-America awards, both of which are the most by any Husker student-athlete. Ottey won multiple NCAA titles in each of her five total seasons, including five combined indoor and outdoor titles in 1982 and four in 1981. She also earned multiple All-America accolades in each of her five seasons, with seven combined All-America awards in 1982, six in 1980 and five in 1981. Ottey was also a member of Nebraska's indoor national championship teams in 1982, 1983 and 1984. She still holds Nebraska's top indoor marks in the 55- and 200-meter dashes and the program's top outdoor marks in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Ottey's collegiate honors are but a fraction of her amazing athletic accomplishments, as she is also the most decorated Olympian in the history of Nebraska Athletics. Ottey was a seven-time Olympian and a nine-time Olympic medalist, winning three Silver Medals and six Bronze Medals. She competed in more Olympic Games than any other track and field athlete in history (male or female) representing Jamaica six times and Slovenia once. Her nine Olympic medals are the most by any female track and field athlete in Olympic history. She won her final Olympic medal at age 40, making her the oldest track and field medalist (male or female) in Olympic history. Ottey also won the most medals in the history of the World Championships (14), including three golds. In her distinguished career, Ottey won a total of 29 medals between the Olympics, World Championships and World Indoor Championships. She was the first female to run the 60-meter dash in under 7.0 seconds and was the first female to run the 200-meter dash under 22.0 seconds. Ottey's 200-meter dash indoor time of 21.87 in 1993 is still the world record, and she is the only female to break 22.0 seconds in the 200-meter dash indoors. Ottey earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in art from the University of Nebraska in 1984.