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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Dec. 13, 2010

Tjeerdsma named Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist, Bearcat fans encouraged to vote

Mel Tjeerdsma

Mel Tjeerdsma

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma is a finalist for the 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors college coaches who demonstrate responsibility and excellence on and off the field.

If Tjeerdsma wins this award, he will receive $50,000 for his favorite charities and $20,000 for the Northwest Missouri State Alumni Association.

There's one more step Bearcat fans can take to help Tjeerdsma become Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. Go to between Dec. 13 and 28 to again cast votes for Tjeerdsma to help him surpass the four other finalists.

To watch a video about Tjeerdsma click here.

This is a unique opportunity for the Bearcat Nation to make its voice heard. Unlike other college football awards, fan votes for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year truly count, contributing 20 percent to each coach's final score. The remaining votes will come from College Football Hall of Fame coaches and players and members of the national college football media.

Once final votes are cast, the four winning coaches - one from each NCAA division - will be announced on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz., in advance of the BCS National Championship Game.

Tjeerdsma, who has been national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches three times (1998, 1999 and 2008), was the 2009 Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year.

Tjeerdsma has completed his 17th season at Northwest Missouri State and 27th as a collegiate head coach. The Bearcats ended their season Saturday with a 17-13 loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Tjeerdsma, the winningest coach in Northwest football history, is being inducted into the Division II College Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony Friday in Florence, Ala.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468