Tjeerdsma returns to Northwest Missouri State to lead athletic program - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm / Updated at 10:25 am
FOOTBALL
Tjeerdsma returns to Northwest Missouri State to lead athletic program

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Northwest Missouri State announced Wednesday that one of the most successful and well-respected coaches in the history of collegiate athletics, Mel Tjeerdsma, will serve as the school’s next director of athletics. Tjeerdsma starts his new role in mid-April.

Tjeerdsma, 66, announced his retirement as the Bearcat football coach in 2010 after 17 years at the institution where he orchestrated one of the greatest football program transformations in collegiate athletics.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the athletic director at Northwest Missouri State University,” said Tjeerdsma, who was enthusiastically welcomed by the Bearcat coaching staff and student-athletes as well as Northwest alumni, faculty, staff, friends and community members at Wednesday’s news conference. “For 17 years, Northwest was our home, and we are excited to return to Maryville. The Northwest athletics program has a rich and outstanding tradition, and it is my goal to see it continue to thrive and improve in the years to come. ‘Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat’ is more meaningful to me now than ever before.”

As Northwest’s director of athletics, Tjeerdsma will be responsible for leading the institution’s athletics program, providing an overall vision for the program and serving as the lead athletics fundraiser. He’ll oversee the university’s athletics personnel, budget and facilities and will work to address an athletics strategic plan and the funding necessary to address such.

“Northwest is ecstatic to welcome Mel and Carol back to campus,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “We can proudly talk legacy and the past, but more pointedly, we look to a very bright future with Mel at the helm. This will not be a figurehead sort of position. His external focus on behalf of Northwest athletics will be invaluable as well as his focus on serving as a leader, mentor and guide to our student-athletes, athletics department, campus community and alumni and friends.”

Since departing Northwest in February 2011, Tjeerdsma coached Team USA to a world championship at the 2011 International Federation of American Football World Cup in Austria. He also was a member of Austin College’s institutional advancement development team where he led athletics fundraising efforts. Most recently, he served the NCAA, piloting the coaches connection program that used prominent former coaches to create a more effective dialogue between coaches and the Division II governance structure and staff.

Four years after Tjeerdsma’s inaugural winless season with the Bearcats, Northwest became the first NCAA Division II football program to finish a season 15-0. The Bearcats won back-to-back national championships in 1998 and 1999 — the university’s first national titles in any sport. Northwest added a third championship in 2009 that capped an unprecedented run of five national championship game appearances that began in 2005. He had a 32-10 overall postseason record, 12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association conference championships and, with a record of 183-43, he is the Northwest football program’s all-time winningest coach.

Tjeerdsma succeeds Wren Baker, who resigned earlier this month to become the deputy athletic director of external affairs at the University of Memphis.

Night hike planned at Homestead National Monument
Clayton Anderson to appear at Astronomy Day at Morrill Hall
UNL Extension forester offers tips on tree, shrub planting
Fire departments, Cass County water district fight over hydrants
Davenport man found guilty of vehicular homicide
Iowa City police, students connect over basketball
University of Iowa burn center sees jump in ammonia burns
Volunteers may revive Oyens, Iowa, ambulance service
3 suspects in robbery of drug dealers granted separate trials
Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close, still hoping to be saved
Sperry, Iowa, man admits to shooting dog playing near child
After years of back and forth, another delay for Keystone XL pipeline
Omaha high schoolers to help canvass for Heartland 2050
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
Grant ensures that Sioux City can start building children's museum
Party looks to 'nudge' women into public office in Iowa
Good Deeds, April 20
For birthday, Brownell-Talbot student opts to give, not get
Year One without No. 3: The good, bad and uncertain
Sole big donor to Beau McCoy says he expects nothing in return
Two taken to hospital after fire at Benson home
This Friday, celebrate Arbor Day where it all began
Why two hotshots ditched six-figure salaries for a life of less
Around and about: Blue Jean Ball raises $260K for Make-A-Wish
Bookends: Rex Harrison’s son plans Omaha reading, show
ON TWITTER »

TODAY'S LOCAL SCOREBOARD
Sunday's Top Events
PCL baseball
Nashville at Omaha, 2:05 p.m (Live stats)
College baseball
UNO at Bradley, 1 p.m. (Live stats)

Game Time, TV/Radio Schedule
Sunday's Area Events
Sunday's TV/Radio Schedule

Prep Results
NEPrepZone.com (mobile)

Others
Holes in One
Dog Racing Results
Horse Racing Entries, Horse Racing Results
VIDEO »
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Blog: Dirk's 'Mad Chatter'
Dirk Chatelain offers his thoughts on the latest news from around the sports world, complete with links to the best articles, opinion columns, YouTube videos and more.
Civic Auditorium Timeline
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel asked readers for their favorite memories of the Civic Auditorium. We combined their submissions with a few key events or moments in the auditorium's history.
CWS: Banner Years
The College World Series historical database, a growing home for historical information about past NCAA baseball championships, which have been played in Omaha since 1950.
Downtown Omaha event map
Discover the area surrounding the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha -- including restaurants, arts & entertainment venues, hotels and local retail outlets.
Facebook: Tom Shatel's page
Get Tom Shatel's sports columns delivered straight to your Facebook feed.
Follow Tom Shatel on Twitter
Get instant analysis and commentary from World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel on Twitter.
Nebraska high school basketball's greatest night
Four elite teams. Two buzzer-beaters. One packed house. On March 11, 1989, the stars aligned and produced the best night in Nebraska high school basketball history.
Shatel's blog
Check out the latest from World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel.
Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports
Get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's book "Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports."
Super Bowl: Through the years
The Super Bowl is a yearly media madhouse. See how The World-Herald sports section's front pages portrayed each of the Super Bowl victories won by those players celebrated in our Mt. Rushmore of Super Bowl QBs.
Talk sports with World-Herald reporters
World-Herald reporters log on to talk about the latest news surrounding the Huskers, Jays, Mavericks, high schools sports and more. Check out the upcoming chat schedule or replay the latest discussions with the fans.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
The Nebraska 100
In an historic 2005 series, The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes. In a new web exclusive, see the digitized collection for the first time.
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »