Frank Solich’s legendary predecessor wants to see the coach return to Nebraska. Tom Osborne told the Omaha World Herald on Thursday that he’d “really like to see” Solich be welcomed back to the state where he was fired in 2003 after six seasons as the Huskers coach.
Solich was invited to Omaha for the 2019 Outland Trophy Award dinner as the winner of the Tom Osborne Award.
“I’d really like to see it happen,” Osborne told the Omaha World Herald. “And he certainly didn’t say no. It could be a really good thing to do. I think it would be a great time to do it.”
Solich took the reins of Nebraska’s program in 1998, the year after Osborne stepped down as coach. Solich, a former Huskers fullback, led Nebraska to the 1999 Big 12 title, was a two-time conference coach of the year and went 58-19 in six seasons. Still, the Huskers fired him after a 9-3 season in 2003.
First-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost also opened up about Solich this week. Frost said he thought Solich “got a little bit of a raw deal at Nebraska.” Osborne said Solich was “hurt” by the way his tenure ended in Lincoln.
“I don’t think bitter is the right word,” Osborne said to the World Herald. “I think he was hurt by it. He played here, coached here as an assistant for 19 years. He was very loyal to Nebraska. He cared about this place. It hurt him. As time has gone on, he’s talked about Nebraska. He’s interested in how (Frost) is going to do next year.”
Solich, 73, is entering his 14th season as the coach at Ohio, where he is 97-71.