Feb. 8, 2010
In addition to being named the 2009 Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year, Northwest' head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma was inducted into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010.
Coach Tjeerdsma received the Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year during a ceremony last month in Newport Beach, Calif. The award celebrates college football coaches whose seasons were marked by success and sportsmanship of their teams on the field, achievements by their student-athletes in the classroom and their selfless support of charity and their communities.
As the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, Coach Tjeerdsma receives $50,000 to be given to the charity of his choice, and the Northwest Alumni Association receives a $20,000 scholarship award. Coach Tjeerdsma also will be honored in a display at the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame ceremony took place Jan. 31 in Springfield. Among the others inducted with Tjeerdsma were former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer, Kansas City Royals pitcher Mark Gubicza and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi.
Coach Tjeerdsma led the Bearcats to a 14-1 record and the program's third national championship this past season. He is in his 16th season at Northwest. The team was 0-11 in his first season of 1994. The team is 171-30 since, winning 11 MIAA championships, making seven national title game appearances and bringing home three titles. With 29 postseason wins, Coach Tjeerdsma is the winningest postseason coach in Division II history.