By Randy York
Lawrence Pete, now assistant vice president and branch manager for Bank of the West in Omaha, has a succinct but accurate description for his football career at Nebraska in the late 1980s. “Football was just a dress rehearsal for the game of life”, Pete said before his Friday night induction into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, an elite club that also will add fellowHusker Blackshirts Carel Stith from the 1960s, Bob Terrio from the 1970s and Mike Brown and Ralph Brown II from the 1990s.
Because of Tom Osborne’s leadership and influence, “I’ve always viewed football as so much bigger than the pads, the tackles, the sacks, the records and even my six years in the NFL (with the Detroit Lions),” Pete said. “Coach Osborne was so much more than just a coach. He was the first man in my life who was a constant. He was a role model who taught me, through constant positive reinforcement, how to set a goal,develop a game plan, commit to something bigger than myself and explain why sacrificing was part of winning.”
Osborne “used football to equip me with the necessary tools and skill sets, so I could apply the same principles to life,” Pete said. “I grew up in Wichita (Kan.) as one of seven boys in a single-parent house. I had 11 sisters, so there were 18 children in the same house. I never had a father until Tom Osborne came into my home and my life and taught me the important lessons I needed to learn.
“I know what those guys are getting now from Bo Pelini – the same values and principles I got when I was playing,” Pete said. “It’s funny. When I was playing, I could see and experience the depth of passion that Nebraska fans had for this program, but I couldn’t really comprehend it. Now I do, and I’m just as crazy – and just as passionate – as everyone else!”
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