Ryland "Taffy" Milner arrived in Maryville in 1929 and was a daily presence at Northwest until his death in 1999. Milner was captain of both the Northwest football and basketball teams between 1932-1933. He became the head football coach and assistant basketball coach at Northwest from 1937 to 1957. His career coaching record at Northwest Missouri State was 92 wins, 61 losses, and 13 ties. From 1957 to 1975, he was promoted to Director of Athletics. Fred Mares wrote a biography called Dear Coach: The Ryland Milner Story about the Northwest legend. To this day, Northwest alumni continue to quote Milner's inspiring and famous phrase: "Once a Bearcat, Always a Bearcat!