Frank SolichFrank Solich

Frank Solich becomes the seventh Husker coach to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.


Solich Named to College Football Hall of Fame

Former Nebraska Football Head Coach Frank Solich is one of 22 individuals who will make up the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class. The 19 players and three coaches were announced on Monday afternoon by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame. 

The electees were selected from the 2024 national ballot of 78 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 101 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks. 

Solich becomes the seventh Husker coach in the Hall of Fame, joining Tom Osborne, Bob Devaney, Biff Jones, Dana X. Bible, Fielding Yost and Eddie N. Robinson. Overall, Nebraska has 27 members in the Hall, including 20 players. Solich is the first Nebraska inductee since offensive tackle Zach Wiegert in 2022 and gives Nebraska nine inductees in the past 18 classes. Other recent Nebraska inductees include Eric Crouch (2020), Aaron Taylor (2018), Trev Alberts (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013) and Will Shields (2011). 

During his 22 seasons as a head coach, Solich compiled a record of 173-101, including a 58-19 record in six seasons as Nebraska's head coach from 1998 to 2003, followed by 115 wins as the head coach at Ohio University. Solich led the Huskers to the 1999 Big 12 Conference championship. The Huskers finished No. 3 in the AP Poll in 1999 after beating Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl and rolling to a 22-6 win over Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. NU added a co-Big 12 North Division title in 2001, when the Huskers met Miami in the Rose Bowl for the national championship. 

Nebraska added a final No. 8 national ranking by the Associated Press in both 2000 and 2001. The 2001 Huskers featured the nation's top college player - Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Eric Crouch. A four-year starter, Crouch added Walter Camp National Player-of-the-Year and Davey O'Brien awards while becoming Nebraska's career leader in total offense.

A product of the Nebraska football program first as a player, then as an assistant coach, Solich's career at Nebraska spanned four decades since first arriving in Lincoln in 1962 to play fullback in Coach Bob Devaney's first season.

Although Solich was not with Nebraska during all 42 of those seasons, as he spent more than a decade as a high school head coach in Nebraska before joining the Husker coaching staff as an assistant in 1979.  During his playing and coaching tenure as a Husker, all 29 Nebraska teams he was associated with played in a bowl game.

In his final game as NU's assistant head coach and running backs coach, Solich helped the Huskers to a third national championship in a four-year span with a resounding 42-17 win over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, helping Osborne go out as a reigning national champion.

Following his head coaching career at Nebraska, Solich guided Ohio University's program for 16 seasons from 2005 to 2020. During his time at Ohio, Solich coached the Bobcats to 12 winning seasons, 11 bowl appearances and four MAC East division titles.  He is the winningest coach in the history of the Mid-American Conference.

In addition to serving as the head coach for one Hall of Fame player (Crouch) and a position coach for another (Mike Rozier), Solich played for Hall of Fame Head Coach Bob Devaney and worked for 19 seasons as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Osborne.
The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented on Dec. 10, 2024, at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Solich will also be recognized with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, at a to be determined Nebraska home game this fall. The accomplishments of the 2024 class will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Atlanta on Aug. 23.

A coach becomes eligible for the College Hall of Fame three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years old. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
Comments on Frank Solich Being Named to the College Football Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Head Coach Tom Osborne, Nebraska Head Coach, 1973-1997
“Frank Solich is very deserving of his selection in the College Football Hall of Fame.  I want to thank him and congratulate him on all that he has done for the sport of football.

“Frank excelled as a running back at Nebraska and went on to have successful coaching stints at Omaha Holy Name and Lincoln Southeast high schools.  He came to my coaching staff at Nebraska as a graduate assistant coach, as I had no openings on my staff.  This represented a considerable financial sacrifice on his part.  He was a great recruiter, recruiting players like Mike Rozier and Irving Fryar and many others.  He ran our football camps and coaches clinics, and I could see that he had excellent management skills.  He was good with football strategy and related well to players and the public.  

“Most assistant coaches have areas of strengths and weaknesses, but Frank was accomplished in all areas so I recommended that he become the head coach in 1998.  He won a Big 12 championship, played for a National Championship and went to a bowl game each year at Nebraska.

“He then took a football program at Ohio University from a position of long-term mediocrity to being a consistent contender in the MAC and a team that went to a bowl game nearly every year.  This was a major turnaround for Ohio under Frank’s leadership.”

Nebraska Director of Athletics Trev Alberts, 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee
“I am thrilled for Coach Solich and his family on his well-deserved selection to the College Football Hall of Fame. Very few individuals have made a bigger impact on the Nebraska Football program than Frank Solich. He was a great player here, one of the most successful assistant coaches in college football history and a championship-winning head coach. Including his decorated coaching career at Ohio University, Coach Solich made significant contributions to college football for nearly 50 years, and always did so in a first-class and professional manner.”

2020 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Crouch, 1998-2001 Nebraska Quarterback
“I can’t think of a better person, player, coach, and friend to be joining the College Football Hall of Fame. Frank Solich has earned it the hard way, through perseverance and dedication to college football. I am honored to have played for him at the University of Nebraska. Congrats to Coach Solich and his family.”

Nebraska Head Coach Matt Rhule
“Coach Solich’s record speaks for itself, and he is most deserving of this special honor. More importantly, he has always put his players first and greatly impacted their lives on and off the field. To me that is the definition of a Hall of Fame coach. Coach Solich is someone who I have always respected and looked up to and he has been so kind and supportive of us since we have been here at Nebraska, and I can’t thank him enough.”