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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

June 28, 2007

Proposal Submitted to Board of Regents Requesting the Bearcat Stadium Playing Surface be Named "Mel Tjeerdsma Field"

Submitted to the Board of Regents by Dr. Bob Boerigter, Director of Athletics

Background: Head Coach of the Northwest Missouri State University football program since 1994, Mel Tjeerdsma has established a record of coaching excellence that is unparalleled in America. During his tenure his teams have won .786% of their games, captured eight MIAA Championships, and advanced to the NCAA post-season tournament nine times. In addition, the Bearcats were National Runner-up in 2005 and 2006 and National Champions in 1998 and 1999.

While coaching at Northwest, Coach Tjeerdsma has been named MIAA Coach of the Year eight times, American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year six times and National AFCA Coach of the Year twice.

Highly respected by his peers, Coach Tjeerdsma has served for nine years on the American Football Coaches Association Board of Directors and he served as President of the Association during the 2006-2007 year. He became the first President to serve who was a member of a Division II institution, since 1999.

Under the leadership of Coach Tjeerdsma, student-athletes have been attracted to our campus and program that are sound academically and of high character. The student success and graduation rates of our football student-athletes are reflective of that, and are a model that other Universities often attempt to emulate.

Currently a new Field Turf surface is being installed within Bearcat Stadium. Motivation for many financial gifts earmarked for this project has been received from donors with the desire that this field be named in honor of this highly respected man.

In recognition and in honor of his service to Northwest Missouri State University, his profession, his impact on our campus community and our region, but more specifically for his impact on the lives of all who he has coached, we recommend that the playing surface at Bearcat Stadium be named "Mel Tjeerdsma Field."

Issue: We recommend Board approval

President's Recommendation: Recommend approval. DLH

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