Solich Honored by National Football Foundation Hall of Fame< < Back to
Before having coached a single game this year, Ohio head football coach Frank Solich has garnered an award.
Solich received the “Coaching Award” from the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame for his 29 years of service on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln coaching staff.
"To be mentioned along with some of the all-time greats in Nebraska football history is a tremendous honor for me," Solich said in a statement. "During my time at Nebraska, I had the opportunity to work with several talented athletes and coaches, who all played a major role in our success."
Solich started his Nebraska coaching career as head freshman coach on the legendary Tom Osborne’s staff in 1979, leading the team to a 19-1 record in four years at the helm.
In 1983, Solich was promoted to running backs coach, a job he held the job for 15 seasons. The Huskers led the nation in rushing in nine of those seasons. His work to help engineer Nebraska’s fabled ground game was recognized when Athlon Magazine named him “Assistant Coach of the Year” in 1993.
But the best of Solich’s coaching career at Nebraska was yet to come.
Osborne announced his retirement in 1997, following the Huskers’ third national title in five seasons. On Dec. 10 of the same year, Solich’s arduous coaching tenure with the Scarlet and Cream was rewarded as he was named Osborne’s successor.
In the six seasons that followed, Solich coached the Huskers to a 58-19 (.753) record. He helped Nebraska win the Big 12 championship in 1999, three consecutive Big 12 North Division championships in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2001. Three Nebraska teams cracked the final AP top 10 in those six seasons.
Solich enjoyed his most successful season and first bowl victory as head coach in 1999 when the Huskers defeated Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season with a 12-1 record. Twenty-eight players from the ’99 team went on to play in the NFL, including 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch.
Solich has continued his winning ways with the Green and White, leading Ohio to its first ever bowl victory in last season’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl triumph over Utah State. He enters his eighth season at head coach of the ‘Cats with a 50-40 (.556) overall record and 36-20 (.643) MAC record.
Ohio’s first opponent of the 2012 season, Penn State, is a familiar foe for Solich. His Huskers defeated Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions, 18-10, in 2003.