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Northwest is saddened to report the unexpected passing of Coach Scott Bostwick on June 5, 2011.
Northwest Missouri State University has announced that Northwest defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick will succeed Mel Tjeerdsma as head football coach. The announcement came Dec. 31 following news that Tjeerdsma is retiring following 17 seasons with the Bearcats.
Bostwick is the 18th head coach of a program that will enter its 96th season three wins shy of 500 (497-388-33).
The 2007 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, Bostwick has been Tjeerdsma's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since the duo's arrival in 1994. Together they won 12 MIAA championships, three NCAA championships and led the Bearcats to seven title game appearances in the last 13 seasons.
"I've been a coordinator for 26 years and if I was ever going to be a head coach, this is where I wanted to be," said Bostwick. "It would be a challenge for anyone to try to walk in Mel's shoes, but I'm excited for it. It's what I've wanted, it's why I've stayed here and here it is.
"The Bearcat Paw represents a lot to Northwest faculty, alumni and past players and I want to uphold the traditions of what it has stood for the last 15 years. Our work ethic, commitment and preparation will not change."
Year-in and year-out, Bostwick has continuously produced one of the top defenses in the nation. The Bearcats have led the MIAA in scoring defense in each of the last five seasons and in total defense in two of the last three.
The Bearcats have finished in the top 10 nationally in stopping the run three times in the last five years, including 2006 when the team set a program record by allowing just 75 rushing yards per game. Only eight individuals have posted 100 yards rushing against Northwest in the last 77 games dating back to 2004.
"Scott Bostwick has been instrumental in the rise and continued success of Northwest football," said Northwest director of athletics Wren Baker. "He is just as committed to the personal development and academic success of his players as he is to winning football games. We are extremely proud to have Coach Bostwick be the next head coach of the Bearcats."
Along with team success has come numerous individual accolades for Northwest defenders. Bostwick has coached 20 defensive players who have combined to appear on numerous All-America teams. The 2010 team featured cornerback Ryan Jones who became the sixth Bearcat to be named MIAA Defensive Player of the Year under Bostwick.
Safety Myles Burnsides was named the 2009-10 Ken B. Jones Award Winner as the MIAA's top male student-athlete. Following his junior season in 2008, Burnsides became the first Bearcat to be named Division II National Defensive Player of the Year. He was named National Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2009-10.
In 2005, Dave Tollefson became the first defensive player under Bostwick to be drafted into the NFL when the Packers made him a seventh-round draft pick (253rd overall). Tollefson set a Northwest record by registering 12.5 sacks that year. He earned a championship ring as a member of the New York Giants at the conclusion of the 2007 season.
Bostwick mentored five first-team All-MIAA selections in 2010, the highest number in one season under his regime. He's had four first-teamers three other times since 2005. Bostwick has coached 54 Bearcats who have combined to earn 83 All-MIAA honors.
Prior to joining the staff at Northwest, Bostwick spent four years at Western Washington University in Mt. Vernon, Wash. He served as defensive coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan, his alma mater, from 1986-1990.
Bostwick holds a bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan, where he was a four-year letterwinner and was named all-conference and all-district on the gridiron. He was inducted into the University's Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2006 and is the program's third-leading tackler.
Bostwick and his wife, Sue, reside in Maryville and have two children, Leah and Eric.