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Morning Sun
  • Northwest's Mel Tjeerdsma announces retirement; replacement named

  • Last week, legendary Northwest Missouri State head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma announced he was retiring.

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  • Last week, legendary Northwest Missouri State head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma announced he was retiring.
    Shortly thereafter, the Bearcats announced that Bearcat defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick will be Tjeerdsma’s replacement.
    Bostwick will be the 18th head football coach in the history of Northwest Missouri State football.
    “I’ve been a coordinator for 26 years and if I was ever going to be a head coach, this is where I wanted to be,” said Bostwick. “It would be a challenge for anyone to try to walk in Mel’s shoes, but I’m excited for it. It’s what I’ve wanted, it’s why I’ve stayed here and here it is.”
    Bostwick has been the defensive coordinator at Northwest since 1994 — the same year Tjeerdsma became head football coach. In 2007, Bostwick was named the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
    In each of the last five years, the Bearcats have led the MIAA in scoring defense and in total defense in two of the last three years.
    For Tjeerdsma, it caps 17 years at the helm of Northwest Missouri State that saw him take a program that was 0-11 in his first season to a 183-32 record overall.
    “The past 17 years have been an incredible experience for Carol and me,” said Tjeerdsma. “The growth and the development of the Bearcat football program have probably exceeded all of our expectations. Even though we’ve been blessed with an abundance of great memories on the field, the friendships and relationships that we’ve developed are the most important aspect of our time at Northwest.”
    The Bearcats won 41 straight conference games from 1997-2001, a record that stood until the 2010 season that saw Northwest win 46 straight. Since 1997, the Bearcats have finished 9-0, 10 times.
    “This is a day we all knew would come at some point and thus one of complete honor and celebration for Coach Tjeerdsma, his wife, Carol, and his family,” said Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski in a statement after the announcement. “We can talk records and honors, championships and streaks, but when we talk of Coach T, we talk about his leadership with integrity, his focus on the development of the complete student-athlete and his winning ways starting with off-the-field focus and transferring to storied on-the-field successes.”
    Tjeerdsma is a four-time national coach of the year honoree, was Liberty Mutual’s Coach of the Year in 2009 and is a finalist for the award again this year. He is a 12-time MIAA Coach of the Year honoree.
    Prior to coaching at Northwest, Tjeerdsma guided Austin College to three Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships (TIAA) and became the program’s all-time winningest coach. The Kangaroos were 59-38-4 in 10 seasons under Tjeerdsma and made two trips to the NAIA Division II playoffs. Tjeerdsma earned three TIAA Coach of the Year awards.
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