Thursday, April 8, 2021

Review of "More Than Winning," by Tom Osborne

 Review of

More Than Winning, by Tom Osborne, ISBN 9780803226630

Five out of five stars

Winning the right way

 The most impressive statement in this book is when Osborne states that Nebraska led the nation in Academic All-Americans, and by a two-to-one margin. This was during a period when Nebraska was a football powerhouse, in contention every year for the national championship and winning three in the nineties. Osborne instituted several major changes, including year-round weight training, nutrition and other conditioning.

 While Osborne openly states his religion, he does not flaunt it, stating that all he prayed for was safety, health and a game that was cleanly played and properly officiated. He also points out some of the absurd aspects of the NCAA rules, when Nebraska was cited for violating an obscure rule, he took the blame. Openly admitting that he didn’t know the rule existed, he accepted it saying that he should have known.

 Osborne was also a master at growing players into starring roles. Allowing men to walk on and letting them take as much as years before they developed into a quality player was a trait of the program. He also showed courage and his winning resolve when he went for two points and the win against Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

 A coach that did things right and was rewarded for it, Osborne demonstrated that you could follow the rules, avoid being the ruthless taskmaster, be gracious towards others and still be one of the most successful coaches of all time.

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