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Northwest Bearcats

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Adam Dorrel

Head Coach

OfficeLamkin Activity Center 216
Phone(660) 562-1310

Adam Dorrel has been a Bearcat all his life. When his opportunity came to lead his alma mater in 2011, Dorrel and the Bearcats did not miss a beat.


Dorrel was named head coach at Northwest Missouri State after the passing of long-time assistant coach Scott Bostwick on June 5, 2011. Bostwick never led the Bearcats onto the field as he was named head coach after Mel Tjeerdsma retired following 17 seasons at Northwest, a program that the two helped build.


Being one of the first players to start on the offensive line under Tjeerdsma in 1994, Dorrel continued the Bearcat excellence in his first season as head coach, returning the Bearcats to the playoffs for an eighth straight season, the longest current streak in NCAA Division II football. The Bearcats advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, falling to the eventual national champion for the second season in a row.


In addition to a celebrated playoff run, the Bearcats led the nation in scoring, averaging more than 50 points per game during the regular season and scoring the second most points in college football regardless of division. The 2011 season also ushered in the program’s 500th win (508-390-22) Sept. 17 with a 73-7 thrashing of Lincoln.


Prior to being named head coach, Dorrel was no stranger to Bearcat football or the expectations. He was the offensive coordinator at Northwest from 2007 to 2010, helping the Bearcats to an unprecedented five consecutive NCAA Division II Championship appearances and their third national title in 2009. In Dorrel’s seven seasons with the Bearcats since returning in 2005, they have an 87-14 record and added five MIAA Championships.


Dorrel’s offensive unit averaged 42 points and 474 yards per game, ranking in the top 10 nationally in four major offensive categories.  The Bearcats were second in scoring, sixth in total offense, third in pass efficiency and eighth in passing.


Impressive team and individual accolades have become the norm rather than the exception under Dorrel. The Bearcats have averaged more than 40 points per game three times and more than 400 yards of offense per game five times in Dorrel’s seven seasons. In addition, 14 offensive stars have been named All-Americans under Dorrel and three of the last four MIAA offensive MVPs have been Bearcats.  Jeremy Davis (’08) and Brett Grozinger (’09 and ’10) have been named finalists for the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award under Dorrel.  Currently, there are two Northwest players in the NFL who played for Dorrel.  Xavier Omon (’07) is a running back for the Denver Broncos, and Tom Pestock (’08) is an offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals.  Omon was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft and has played for the Seattle Seahawks as well.  Pestock was an undrafted free agent, signed by the Cardinals in 2009 and has been with the team since.


After earning his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in 1998, Dorrel spent a year as a graduate assistant at Northeastern State in Oklahoma. He returned to Northwest as a graduate assistant in 1999 when the team won the second of its back-to-back national titles and completed his master’s degree at Northwest in 2000.


Dorrel served coaching stints at Dakota State University in South Dakota and William Jewell College in Missouri before being appointed offensive line coach at Northwest in 2004. He was promoted to offensive coordinator prior to the 2007 season and then to assistant head coach after Scott Bostwick was named head coach in December 2010.


During the summer of 2008, Dorrel was one of six American football coaches to lead clinics overseas to further strengthen the sport beyond the United States. During the summer of 2007, he served as offensive line coach for Team USA as it competed and won the IFAF World Championships in Japan.


Dorrel himself is a former Northwest All-American, having played under legendary head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. Dorrel was a three-year captain for the Bearcats during his collegiate career as an offensive lineman from 1994 to 1997 and earned All-MIAA honors in 1995, 1996 and 1997. A Maryville native, he also was a two-time All-District and All-Conference lineman at Maryville High School.


Additionally, Dorrel’s family has long ties to Bearcat football, beginning with his great-grandfather, Ross Alexander Scott, who was a fullback on the first Bearcat football team in 1908. Dorrel’s grandfather and a great uncle also played in the program during the 1940s.

Northwest Missouri State University
Year W-L Conference Finish    NCAA Finish
2011 11-3 7-2 (2nd)
2-1 (NCAA Quarterfinals)
2012 10-3 8-2 (2nd) 1-1 (NCAA Second Round)
TOTAL 21-6 (.777)
CAREER TOTALS  21-6 (.777)