It's been 19 years since the news. First came the report of a plane crash. Then the rumors of who was on the plane. Then the confirmation of the news. 

Brook Berringer, the former Husker quarterback who helped Nebraska to the 1994 championship and was a constant motivational tool for Tommie Frazier, had died in a plane crash. It was April 18, 1996 — two days before Berringer would have likely been selected in the NFL draft.

To remember Berringer, Big Red Today has dug through The World-Herald archives and pulled 10 stories that tell of the quarterbacks career, his fatal accident, and the honors he's received since. Here are the stories, in order of publish date.

* * *

APRIL 19, 1996

This column by former World-Herald reporter Eric Olson, now with the Associated Press, tells of Olson's attempts to get a hold of Berringer a couple of weeks before the accident. Olson struggled to reach Berringer, whose mom was worried because he was flying his small airplane and was late returning home.

APRIL 19, 1996

This is the main story of the plane crash. It tells of Berringer's death and that of his girlfriend's brother, too.

APRIL 19, 1996

Tom Shatel's column that ran the morning after the accident sells itself: "This is not supposed to happen. Not two days before the National Football League draft. Not ever. Brook Berringer is dead. I can barely write those words."

APRIL 19, 1996

One of the sidebars that ran the morning after the accident. It tells of Berringer's commitment off the field. 

APRIL 22, 1996

Tom Shatel's column following Berringer's funeral in Kansas focused on those closest to the quarterback, including Matt Turman.

APRIL 22, 1996

Tom Osborne and Turner Gill each spoke during Berringer's funeral. And 4,000 showed up to remember the life of the former Husker.

JULY 9, 1996

On what would have been Berringer's 23rd birthday, then-Nebraska A.D. Bill Byrne speaks about the former player. 

JAN. 23, 1997

Nine months after the plane crash, an investigation revealed that the engine stalled, and Berringer likely tried to guide the plane back to the air strip before it dived toward the ground.

APRIL 18, 2006

It had been 10 years since the plane went down, and Dirk Chatelain wanted to scribe his honorary story of Berringer. The lengthy feature covered Berringer from every angle — the football player, the hunter, the fisherman, the son, the brother, the hero.

APRIL 18, 2011

When 15 years passed it was Tom Shatel's turn to reminisce on the life of Brook Berringer. He does so through the eyes of Tom Osborne, who said "my heart sank to my big toe" when he heard that there was a plane crash.

* * *

Since the 1994 Husker season, Berringer has been the focus of books, documentaries and even songs.

Check back Monday at Omaha.com/bigred or in the print edition of The World-Herald as Dirk Chatelain looks at Berringer's permanent place in Husker history.

Get a daily Husker news roundup, recruiting updates and breaking news in your inbox.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.