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Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne to retire in January

Sep 29, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

Tom Osbourne AP

After five years reshaping and rebuilding at Nebraska, athletic director Tom Osborne announced that he would be stepping aside, effective Jan. 1.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work in the Athletic Department for the past five years,” Osborne said in a statement.

“I hope that there have been some good things that have been accomplished during that time. I appreciate Chancellor Perlman giving me this opportunity. I’ve had the privilege of working with some outstanding people in the athletic department and have confidence that the trajectory of the athletic department is very good.”

Prior to his work as the athletic director, Osborne had been the school’s head football coach from 1973-97. He also had an extensive political career, being elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000 and serving until 2007.

Under Osborne’s watch as athletic director, the Cornhuskers transitioned from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Tom,” Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. “The move into the Big Ten could not have happened without Tom’s support.

“He has made the facilities stronger and has expanded the department’s role in assisting students through the student life center. He has been instrumental in incorporating research facilities into the athletics complex that build on the department’s reputation for innovation.”

The 2012-13 season will be the first for new head basketball coach Tim Miles, who was hired under Osborne. Miles comes over from Colorado State, where he led the Rams to an NCAA tournament appearance last season.

Nebraska finished 12-18 in 2011-12, including 4-14 in the conference.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_