Tom Osborne’s successor retired after a very successful stint in Athens, Ohio. Frank Solich is retiring after leading the Ohio Bobcats for well over a decade.
The man who followed up the greatest coach in Nebraska Cornhuskers history is retiring, according to an announcement from the Ohio Athletic Department. After a lengthy tenure as the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats, Frank Solich is moving on from coaching.
According to the news release from the Ohio Bobcats, Solich is set to move on into a new role within the athletic department. Solich is leaving coaching behind and will now be an advisor to Ohio Athletic Director Julie Cromer.
Solich has spent a long time leading the Bobcats, but before he was at Ohio, he was in Lincoln leading the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Solich, a Nebraska native and former player for the Huskers, led the Nebraska football program from 1998 through 2003. He seemed to be a natural fit in Lincoln, but things never worked out for him, despite the success he did have.
Frank Solich was successful as the head coach of the Nebraska football program, but he wasn’t successful enough for the Huskers’ lofty expectations
And it’s not like Solich wasn’t successful while he was with the Huskers.
In his first season guiding Nebraska, the Huskers were coming off of a national championship. Unfortunately for Solich, his team took a step back and only managed to go 9-4 and ended the year with a 23-20 loss to Arizona in the 1998 Holiday Bowl.
In 1999, the Huskers were back on top of the Big 12. Nebraska started things off by claiming six straight wins, including dominant victories over the likes of Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma State. Nebraska fell short in Austin, losing 24-20 to Texas, but then bounced back and earned a rematch against the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Nebraska then beat Texas 22-6 and then took down Tennessee, beating the Vols 31-21 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season at 12-1.
Solich then went on to win 21 games over the next two years, but the Huskers took a huge step back during the 2002 season as Nebraska went 7-7. The Huskers bounced back a bit the next season, but Solich wasn’t kept past the last game of the regular season.
Would Nebraska football be better off if the Huskers had given Frank Solich more time in Lincoln?
The Nebraska football program has been all sorts of up and down since Solich stopped coaching in Lincoln.
Bill Calahan took things over from there, but only managed to go 27-22 through four seasons. Bo Pelini was good for the Huskers, but he was never great and his best years weren’t better than Solich’s best seasons.
Of course, things got even rougher for Nebraska after the Huskers moved on from Pelini.
Neither Mike Riley nor Scott Frost have had much success with leading the Cornhuskers. Given how much Nebraska has struggled, there’s certainly an argument to be made that the Huskers should have stuck with Solich for a little while longer.
But hindsight is 20/20 on that one.