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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Jan. 27, 2009

Tjeerdsma Receives Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State Head Football Coach Mel Tjeerdsma was the recent recipient of the 2008 Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the AFCA Convention Jan. 14. It was Tjeerdsma's second honor within a 24-hour span, as he was named the AFCA Division II Coach of the Year the night before.

"Coach Tjeerdsma has done what every coach dreams of doing -- win a national championship," said FCA Vice-President Donna Noonan in a release. "But when you hear him talk, it is how he has seen Christ change the lives of his players that has brought him the greatest satisfaction. I can't think of a more deserving person to receive the Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award."

Tjeerdsma completed his 25th year as a head collegiate coach and 15th at Northwest with his fourth-straight appearance in the Division II championship game. After going 0-11 in his first year at Northwest, he has won 10 MIAA titles, two NCAA Division II titles, 10 MIAA Coach of the Year honors, three AFCA Coach of the Year honors and compiled an NCAA Division II record 25 postseason victories. He served as president of the AFCA in 2006.

He was featured in a cover story by the FCA in the organization's "Sharing the Victory" magazine in August 1999 along with former Tennessee Head Coach Phil Fulmer.

Prior to Northwest, Tjeerdsma spent 10 seasons as the head coach at Austin College, where he is the program's all-time winningest coach, won three Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs twice. He was president of the NAIA Football Coaches Association in 1990.

"I can't think of a more deserving person to receive the Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award," said FCA Northwest Missouri area representative Wes Simmons '00. "After playing for Tjeerdsma for five years, I greatly appreciate the way Coach consistently upheld the FCA core values of integrity, serving teamwork, and excellence."

The award is named after Grant Teaff, who was a 21-year head coach at Baylor before becoming executive director of the AFCA and a member of the Board of Trustees at the FCA.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is the largest Christian sports ministry in the world and focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

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