Tom Osborne announced this morning that he will retire at the end of the year from his position as UNL Athletic Director.

Tom Osborne announced this morning that he will retire at the end of the year from his position as UNL Athletic Director.

Following are the statements received by the News-Press following Tom Osborne’s announcement of his retirement. Osborne’s press conference was at 11 a.m.

11:30: statement received by Senator Ben Nelson

Tom Osborne and I have been friends since we were students at the University of Nebraska and lived in the same duplex in Lincoln. In all those years and in every endeavor he has always conducted himself with honor, integrity, passion and compassion.

When he became head coach there were those who wondered if he could fill the big shoes of Bob Devaney. He not only filled the shoes but in the true Nebraska spirit took the team to even greater heights.

Nebraska is a far better place because of the good work done by this living legend from his historic national football championships, to his six years in Congress, to Athletic Director, to founding Team Mates, one of the country’s premier mentoring programs.

This humble, soft spoken man who has national respect, may be retiring as Athletic Director but he will forever be in our hearts as a role model inspiring generations of Nebraskans yet to come.

11:40: statement received by Governor Heineman

Tom Osborne is an outstanding athletic director, and he is the greatest collegiate football coach of all time. When he became the athletic director five years ago, Tom immediately restored trust, confidence and stability in University of Nebraska athletic programs. Tom’s record on and off the field is extraordinary. Nebraskans are very proud of Coach Tom Osborne, and we thank him for his years of service to the University and our state.

2:39 statement received by Senator Mike Johanns

Tom is a good friend and a life-long public servant. From Husker arenas to the halls of Congress, he has made a profound and positive impact on countless student-athletes and all Nebraskans.

I want to thank Tom for his service to our state and special focus on young people both on the field and through the Teammates program. I wish him the very best in his much-deserved retirement.

4:38: statement received by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

I thank Tom for his many years of service to Nebraska, both as Congressman for Nebraska’s Third District and his successful tenure at the University of Nebraska.  Whether on the football field or in the halls of Congress, Tom Osborne conducted himself with the quiet confidence of a principled, steady leader.  He leaves a legacy of excellent public service.  I wish him all the best as he retires on January 1, 2013.