BASKETBALL - M
BASKETBALL - W
GOLF - M
GOLF - W
TENNIS - M
TENNIS - W
TRACK & FIELD
Mon, Dec 30
Football 3:45 PM
Valero Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, Texas
Tom Osborne returned for a second stint with the Ducks prior to the 2007 season, with the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach restoring the levels of productivity and energy of his areas to that prior to his 2000 hiatus.
It didn’t take long for “Coach Oz” to make his presence felt, lifting Oregon’s units on special teams out of the bottom ranks of the Pac-10 statistical standings during the 2007 season’s 9-4 campaign.
Throughout his career, Osborne has been instrumental in the development of 17 All-Americans, 17 first-team all-conference standouts and 15 second-team all-league honorees in his 31 years as a college coach. He was one of three finalists for the FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award in 2010.
Yet his role tutoring tight ends has not taken a back seat, as evidenced by CBSsports.com naming him one of the top five tight end coaches in the country in June of 2008. Within his last 17 seasons of his coaching career, Osborne has tutored nine tight ends who have made their way into the NFL.
In the first season following his return, the Ducks placed second in the conference in kickoff returns (23.96 avg., 14th nationally), fourth in kickoff coverage (42.9 net avg.) and ranked fifth in net punting (36.69 avg., 34th in the nation). Andiel Brown led the Pac-10 in punt returns (10.41 avg.) and Jonathan Stewart was third in kick returns (26.70 avg.).
The special teams success has continued ever since. Last season, Oregon led the nation in punting (41.5 avg.). It also finished 11th in the country in kickoff returns (24.9 avg.), with freshman De’Anthony Thomas ranking 10th individually (27.3 avg.), while the Ducks were 25th nationally in kickoff return coverage.
In 2009, Oregon finished 10th nationally in kickoff returns (24.9 avg.), and 2010 saw significant performances by nearly every phase of special teams play. The Ducks finished second in the nation in punt returns (16.98 avg.), ranked 12th in the country in kickoff coverage (19.28 avg.) and 30th in net punting (37.88 avg.). Individually, Cliff Harris rated second in the country in punt returns (18.83 avg.), while Jackson Rice improved his punting average from 40.5 yards per kick to 42.28 from his freshman year to the next. The ‘10 punt return team produced five touchdowns, including four by Harris.
He also oversaw the development of 2009 first-team all-conference tight end Ed Dickson, who became Oregon’s all-time leader in receptions (124) and yards (1,557) at the position prior to his selection in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Osborne followed that up by tutoring tight end David Paulson into becoming a first-team all-conference choice in his first year as Dickson’s successor.
As a sophomore Dickson was the team’s second-leading receiver with 43 receptions, 453 yards and three touchdowns. He improved his productivity as a junior with 508 receiving yards, while he accumulated 42 catches for 551 yards and six TDs in his final year to earn first-team Pac-10 all-conference honors.
Paulson led his team with a 14.1 yards-per-catch average among teammates who posted 10 or more catches in 2011.
In addition to UO’s kickoff return success in 2009, he also played an increased role in the development of the Ducks’ kickers, as Morgan Flint was successful on better than 88 percent of his field goal attempts.
Before returning to Eugene for a second stay, Osborne had spent six seasons as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Arizona State, after coordinating Oregon’s special teams and tutoring its tight ends from 1995 through 2000. During his tenure with the Sun Devils, Osborne’s units blocked 11 punts.
Osborne was named the Division IA National Special Teams Coordinator of the Year by American Football Coaches Monthly Magazine following the 2003 season. His success in placing a high priority on the different phases of the kicking game has been well documented.
He coached the only team in ASU history to have both the punt return and kickoff return units rank among the top 10 in the nation in the same year (2005). In addition, he oversaw the only team in the nation to have back-to-back years ranked in the top 10 in kickoff returns (2005 and 2006).
His Sun Devils led the Pac-10 in kickoff coverage (16th nationally) in 2004 and ranked No. 2 in the country in kickoff returns in 2006. ASU also ranked among the top 27 in the nation in net punting four of his six seasons.
At ASU, Zach Miller earned first-team All-America honors in 2006 after catching 50 passes for 484 yards and four touchdowns. Over three seasons, ASU’s all-time receptions leader at the position caught more passes (144) than any other tight end in the country while his yardage (1,512) was second nationally during that span.
Under Osborne’s supervision, Oregon’s special teams play during his first tour of duty was arguably the best in the Pac-10, if not the country. The Ducks ranked either first or second in the Pac-10 in kickoff coverage each of his six seasons, among the top three in kickoff returns five of six years and among the top three in net punting on four occasions. Before departing Eugene in 2000, Oregon led the league in kickoff coverage (17.04 avg.), kickoff returns (22.5 avg.) and net punting (37.7 avg.).
From a statistical standpoint, Osborne also coached Oregon’s top three tight ends of all time (Josh Wilcox - 103 receptions, Blake Spence - 92 catches, and Dickson). During his first six years, the Ducks’ tight ends annually averaged close to 50 catches for 700 yards and seven touchdowns. Wilcox, Spence, Jed Weaver and Justin Peelle each received all-conference and All-America attention.
Prior to joining the Oregon staff, the Washington native coached running backs and tight ends at Boise State for two seasons (1993-94) and coached at Portland State from 1986-92.
The 1983 Washington State graduate and former wide receiver served as a student coach for the Cougars (1981-82) as well as a graduate assistant (1983-85) at his alma mater.
Osborne (9/27/60) and his wife, Monica, have one son, Tyler, and one daughter, Ashley.