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When it comes to sports in Nebraska, Frosts are hard to beat

When it comes to sports in Nebraska, Frosts are hard to beat

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Forget about ranking Nebraska's top 100 athletes of all time.

Try figuring out who's the best pure athlete from the Frost family.

Dad Larry and oldest son Steve Frost both played college football, which could make either of them the pride of almost any family that's ever posed for a group picture.

But Scott Frost, the youngest of the clan, led the Nebraska football team to a national championship and played in the NFL. And mom? Carol Frost just might be the best female athlete in the history of this state.

You'll have to forgive the Frost parents for sidestepping this debate.

"I'm not going out on a limb, " Carol said.

Joked Larry: "All I know is I'd be last."

At least Scott was willing to offer an argument.

"I'd say it's Mom, " Scott said. "I had a lot of success in football, but I think she could've been a national-caliber athlete in basketball, softball, track -- anything. Just because of her all-around athletic ability, I'd say it's Mom."

Any way you keep score, this is one storied sports family.

Carol and Larry met when she was a freshman at the University of Nebraska and he was a junior at Malcolm High School. Women weren't allowed to work out at NU's athletic facilities, so Carol had to go to Malcolm to train.

"It was extremely frustrating, " said Carol, who grew up playing sports in Cedar Rapids, Neb., and doubts she'd ever have been allowed to compete had she grown up in Omaha, Lincoln or one of the state's bigger cities. "You'd see all the male athletes at the university getting the best of everything. It felt like some of the people at that school really despised me."

The former Carol Moseke was a four-time national AAU discus champion in the early 1960s, and she won a gold medal at the 1967 Pan Am Games. The first woman from Nebraska to make the U.S. Olympic team, she competed in the 1968 Mexico City Games.

There's no telling how great an athlete Carol could've been, Larry said, had she grown up in an era that embraced women's sports.

"If you could've seen her play softball or basketball, " Larry said, "you'd wonder why she ever even went out for track."

Larry was no slouch himself. He scored 121 touchdowns playing eight-man football for Malcolm from 1961 to 1964.

Tom Osborne, then an assistant football coach at NU under Bob Devaney, scouted Larry in high school.

"In one game, I watched him carry the ball six times and score six touchdowns, " Osborne said. "I went back the next day and told Bob it doesn't get better than that."

Larry can't remember ever being quite that efficient.

"I think I did have a game where I carried nine times for seven touchdowns, " he said. "Maybe that was the game Tom saw."

Larry went on to earn three letters as a wingback for the Huskers and was named outstanding offensive back at the 1969 Sun Bowl.

In the 1970s, he and Carol both began coaching careers. Larry started coaching high school football, and Carol took over the women's track and cross country teams at NU. Carol eventually joined Larry's staff as an assistant, becoming one of a handful of women in the country to coach prep football.

In 1989, the family landed in Wood River, Neb., where Larry and Carol coached both Steve and Scott.

Steve was a two-time all-state offensive lineman in high school, and he signed with Colorado State.

Scott became a football, basketball and track standout at Wood River and was named The World-Herald's Nebraska high school boys athlete of the year in 1993. A Parade All-American, Scott was one of the most coveted football prospects in the nation and signed with Stanford. He then transferred to Nebraska and helped Osborne punctuate his coaching career with a 13-0 season and a share of the 1997 national championship.

Scott was selected in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft, switched from quarterback to safety and special teams and played for several franchises during a seven-year career.

"Obviously Scott is a very gifted athlete, " Osborne said. "But it certainly helped him to grow up in that family."

The Frosts admit they've always been an all-sports, all-thetime family, but Carol and Larry insist they never forced athletics on their sons. And Scott said he certainly didn't have a Todd Marinovich, "roboquarterback" kind of childhood.

"Steve and I just loved sports so much, and that came really

naturally, " Scott said. "I think it really brought all four of us closer together."

Larry now works as the superintendent of schools in Walthill, Neb., and he and Carol still "dabble" as coaches.

Scott no longer is on an NFL roster, but he said he's still interested in playing pro football. If his playing days are behind him for good, Scott, too, wants to get into coaching.

Steve, who transferred to Stanford when Scott signed with the Cardinal, still lives in California's Bay Area. He earned a master's degree at Stanford, works as a salesman for Google and -- no surprise -- keeps involved in athletics as the public address announcer for Stanford basketball and football games.

"I don't know how many other families have devoted as much of their life and their time to sports as we have, " Carol said. "It's just something we've always been passionate about and always had fun doing."

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