By Randy York
The Tribute to Tom: Night of Legends Gala has added some well-known personalities who have committed to attend the Saturday, March 9, once in a lifetime evening that will honor Tom Osborne and his family at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center. The latest commitments include two more Division l head football coaches, a pair of former Nebraska defensive coordinators, another Heisman Trophy winner and an actor who portrayed the President of the United States on a popular TV show.
Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops are the two head coaches who will join previously announced commitments from Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer. Charlie McBride, Osborne’s longtime defensive coordinator who helped his Hall-of-Fame head coach win three national championships and 60 of 63 games in a five-year stretch, will be part of the program. So will Craig Bohl, the former Nebraska defensive coordinator who has led North Dakota State to back-to-back NCAA Division I FCS national championships.
Mike Rozier, NU’s 1983 Heisman Trophy winner, joins Johnny Rodgers (1972) and Eric Crouch (2001) at the Tribute to Tom event, giving the Night of Legends Gala a clean sweep of Husker Heisman winners.
Dennis Haysbert also has committed to attend the event that will contribute all proceeds to two major causes: 1) The TeamMates Mentoring Program established by Tom and Nancy Osborne in 1991; and 2) The NU Athletic Research Center for the Study of Brain and Sport Performance, which will open this fall as part of the $63.5 million East Stadium Expansion Project. Haysbert is known for his work in the movie Major League, for his lead role in the television series The Unit and for his portrayal of President David Palmer in the television series 24. He is also featured in nationally prominent insurance commercials.
Former Nebraska wingback and longtime NFL receiver Irving Fryar and college football offensive coordinator Scott Frost, the quarterback who led Osborne’s last team to the 1997 national championship, also have committed to a program that will include interviews, video features and sideline reports.
ESPN College Football GameDay host Chris Fowler and ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe will be catalysts for interactive dialogues and salutes that will honor Osborne’s contributions to the state of Nebraska, Big Red football and service to our country. The entertainment also features legendary Las Vegas impersonators for Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond, plus the Miami-based New Century Dance Company, which will perform a unique style of shadow dancing. Fans can reserve spots for the gala by calling the Huskers Athletic Fund at 1-800-8-BIGRED or by visiting Huskers.com (see links at the top).
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