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Northwest Missouri State University

Tjeerdsma, Bostwick and Baker

Mel Tjeerdsma, Scott Bostwick and Wren Baker

A changing of the guard

Several changes have recently occurred within Northwest's Department of Athletics. In addition to the Dec. 29 announcement that Coach Mel Tjeerdsma was retiring, Scott Bostwick has been named the team's next head coach and Wren Baker will begin duties as athletics director in mid-February.

One of the most successful and well-respected coaches in the history of collegiate football, Tjeerdsma, 64, vacates his post at Northwest following 17 years of service and after orchestrating one of the greatest football program transformations in the history of collegiate athletics. The Bearcats were 0-11 in 1994, his first season. The team is 183-32 since with three national championships and 12 conference championships in the last 15 seasons.

Bostwick, the 2007 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, has been Tjeerdsma's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since the duo's arrival in 1994. He becomes Northwest football's 18th head coach as the program enters its 96th season three wins shy of 500 (497-388-33).

Since 2006, Baker has served as director of athletics at Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., where he was the first athletics director in the school's history. Previously, he was director of athletics and principal at Valliant (Okla.) Public Schools, assistant director of operations for men's basketball at Oklahoma State University and assistant men's basketball coach at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.