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Feb. 18, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - As a result of Northwest Missouri State University head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma being named the 2009 Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year, the Northwest Alumni Association has received $20,000 from the insurance company sponsoring the contest.
"On behalf of the Northwest Alumni Association, we are very pleased to accept this check from Liberty Mutual. The funds will be used to assist with our alumni relations efforts of uniting Bearcats worldwide," said Steve Sutton, director of alumni relations. "This generous gift is possible thanks to Coach Tjeerdsma's outstanding leadership and integrity on and off the field, his dedicated players and coaches and the online votes from thousands of Northwest alumni and friends."
Tjeerdsma also received $50,000 from Liberty Mutual to be given to the charities of his choice, and he has elected to give $15,000 to the Northwest Foundation to be used for the Degree Completion Program, which provides scholarships to Northwest student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility. The coach has also selected three other local organizations to benefit from his post-season honor: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nodaway County, First Baptist Church of Maryville and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Northwest Missouri-Northeast Kansas.
The Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year award was presented to Tjeerdsma 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.
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, Tjeerdsma is the winningest postseason coach in Division II history.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468