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Associate Head Coach/Def. Backs
|Office||Lamkin Activity Center 211|
Will Wagner has helped lead Northwest Missouri State to nine MIAA championships, seven national championship game appearances and three national titles since arriving in Maryville prior to the 1998 season. The Bearcats are 99-8 (.925) in conference play heading into the 2010 campaign with Wagner onboard.
Wagner first served as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons before being hired full-time to serve as defensive backs coach. He remains in that capacity and was rewarded with the added title of assistant head coach prior to the 2007 season.
Eleven defensive backs have combined to earn 15 All-MIAA honors during Wagner's tenure including safety Myles Burnsides, who was named National Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 after leading the team with six interceptions and placing third with 71 tackles. Burnsides graduated following the 2009 season as a two-time All-American and a three-time all-conference honoree.
Northwest has finished six of the last seven seasons with at least 10 defensive players recording interceptions. In 2009, 11 Bearcats picked off 25 passes - the second-highest tally in the nation. The Bearcats have averaged more than 18 interceptions per season since 2004.
It should come as no surprise then to learn that Wagner is an All-American defensive back in his own right. Wagner shined as a four-year starter at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, from 1992-95 and was named to his alma mater's 20th Anniversary Team in the fall of 2009.
As a Cowboy, Wagner started a record 47 games, set school records for interceptions in a season with eight and set an American Southwest Conference record for career picks with 23. He was also credited with 185 tackles and 52 pass break-ups. He stayed on as a graduate assistant at Hardin-Simmons for the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
During his prep career, Wagner helped lead Permian High School to a Texas State Championship during his senior season of 1991. Permian High is the program featured in the blockbuster film "Friday Night Lights" which was also the subject of a novel.
The Odessa, Texas, native resides in Maryville with his wife, Andrea, and their sons, Brooks and Brayden. Andrea is a 2000 Northwest graduate and is employed on campus in the office of University advancement.