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Sept. 28, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Jon Gustafson, director of MOERA at Northwest Missouri State University, is being honored this weekend for his athletic accomplishments at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Gustafson will be inducted into the Nebraska-Kearney Athletic Hall of Fame during the school's 30th annual Homecoming Awards Banquet on Friday, Oct. 1.
"It's a very humbling experience," Gustafson said. "You work hard and you dream of things like that, but to get the call is very humbling and exciting."
Gustafson was a first-team NAIA All-American defensive end football player in 1984 after being an honorable mention All-American selection in 1983. He also was a first- team all-conference selection in those two years and a member of the Omaha World-Herald All-State College team. As the team's punter, Gustafson earned all-conference honors in 1983 with an average of 40.2 yards.
He won the Tom French Award in 1981, given by the coaching staff to an outstanding freshman.
Gustafson recalls his days at Nebraska-Kearney fondly, noting the Lopers competed in the NAIA Division I Central States Intercollegiate Conference against several Northwest rivals in today's MIAA. The CSIC included Pittsburg State University, Washburn University, Fort Hays State University, Emporia State University, Missouri Western State University and Missouri Southern State University.
Gustafson also credits his Nebraska-Kearney coach, Claire Boroff, for playing a key role in his football career and life. Gustafson asked Boroff to introduce him at the ceremony.
"He's very faith-based and cared about his players," Gustafson said. "He was consistent in being fair to everyone, and I think I've been able to carry that on. (Northwest football head coach Mel Tjeerdsma) really reemphasized that and brought that to even greater light."
Gustafson completed his bachelor's in physical education at the school, then known as Kearney State College, in 1986 and his master's in physical education in 1993. He was a graduate assistant coach for the Lopers from 1991 to 1993.
He came to Northwest in 1993 and served as the football team's defensive line and strength coach until 2003. Gustafson helped the Bearcats build from an 0-11 season in 1994 and capture NCAA Division II national championships in 1998 and 1999.
MOERA (Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area) consists of a 320-acre property operated by Northwest Missouri State University along Mozingo Lake in Maryville. Individuals can participate in recreational activities that include a challenge course for developing leadership and teamwork skills.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468