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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Nov. 8, 2006

Tjeerdsma Selected as Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalist

BOSTON -- Northwest Missouri State head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2006 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, given to the college football coach who best exemplifies responsibility and excellence on and off the field. The finalists are out of a crops of hundreds from Division I, II, III and NAIA ranks. The winner will be determined by a two-phase process that includes fan votes, as well as judging by a selection committee comprised of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches, national college football media, and Liberty Mutual representatives. Fans can vote for the 2006 winner by going to through Monday, Nov. 20.

The 10 finalists will be profiled on a one-hour ABC special on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1:00 p.m. CST and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year will be presented on ABC on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. CST. Of the 10 finalists, Tjeerdsma is one of just two from non-Division I institutions - Danny Hale from Bloomsburg (Penn.) University is the other. According to the web site, Tjeerdsma sits in first-place ahead of Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Bobby Petrino of Louisville as of Nov. 8.

Some of the criteria the committee will look at is in four areas: high level of professional competence; commitment to the well being and development of student-athletes; high ethical standards and; civic and charitable stewardship.

The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year will receive a personal trophy, will be featured in the December 16 television special, and will be recognized in a Coach of the Year exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. Liberty Mutual also will award $100,000 to support the winning coach's civic and charitable activities, and $20,000 for scholarships to the alumni association of the winning coach's school.

Liberty Mutual is the sixth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. This is the first year that Liberty Mutual has sponsored this award.

Tjeerdsma and the No. 2-ranked Bearcats take on Southwest Baptist this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the regular season finale.

10 Finalists for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year
1. Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State
2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
3. Bobby Petrino, Louisville
4. Danny Hale, Bloomsburg (Penn.)
5. Greg Schiano, Rutgers
6. Jeff Tedford, California at Berkeley
7. Jim Tressel, Ohio State
8. Mack Brown, Texas
9. Lloyd Carr, Michigan
10. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468