Twenty years ago, Scott Frost helped Tom Osborne close out his coaching career on a high note. Now, it's the Hall of Famer's turn to help Frost begin his coaching career on a high note.
Scott Frost was born and raised in Wood River, Neb., a tiny town about 100 miles west of Lincoln, Neb, where his mother, Carol, and father, Larry, were standout athletes at the University of Nebraska. Larry, a running back and receiver, was coached by then-offensive coordinator Tom Osborne from 1967-69.
Osborne took over as head coach in 1973 and 20 years later tried recruiting Scott Frost, a three-sport star (football, basketball and track) at Wood River High School. He lost to Bill Walsh and Stanford but won two years later when Frost transferred to the Huskers and won a national championship as the starting quarterback in 1997, Osborne's final season as head coach.
“It was very unassuming; it’s nothing like recruiting is now,” Frost said of his recruitment. “If you remember the movie 'Johnny Be Good,' Nebraska was kind of the state college at home that did things the right way and the right kids came to play there.”
Two decades later, Frost is one of the most highly sought-after coaches in college football. He developed a reputation as an offensive guru during seven seasons as an assistant at Oregon (2009-15) and won six games in his first season as UCF head coach one year after the program went winless.
We take a behind-the-scenes look at Tom Osborne's visit with us last week.
It's Rise and Conquer: Episode 18 pic.twitter.com/kg2MRBZ4Yx
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) August 25, 2017
The next step is getting the Knights into contention for the American title and the Group of Five's bid in a New Year's Six bowl. For that — and other equally important off-the-field goals — he's enlisting the help of Osborne. Frost welcomed his former coach, whom he's kept in close touch with over the years, to fall camp to speak with his team.
"The impact that he made on every single player that played for him and other people throughout the state of Nebraska and around the country is special," Frost told HERO Sports this week. "He's given himself and his life to making young football players better but also to improve the world around him. He's my hero in this business and will remain that way."
Osborne, who says he keeps a close eye on the Knights and watched "six or seven" games last year, still has 249 wins, 13 conference titles and three national championships on his former player. But Frost says those gaudy numbers are not why he has such a deep admiration for him.
“Tom Osborne is one of the greatest college coaches that’s ever lived,” Frost added. “But more than that, he’s as good of a man as I’ve ever known. I admire him not because he won 255 games, but because of who he is."