Mel Tjeerdsma

Mel Tjeerdsma

Former Northwest Missouri head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma was presented the AFCA’s 2022 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award during the AFCA Convention on Monday in San Antonio, Texas.

The American Football Coaches Association’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is given to an individual “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.”

With 242 wins in 27 years as a head coach, Tjeerdsma ranks 10th all-time among Division II head coaches and boasts a 74.4 winning percentage. Of his 242 career wins, 183 came during his 17 years with the Bearcats between 1994 and 2010.

In the 1998 season, Tjeedsma guided the Bearcats to a 15-0 record and their first NCAA Division II National Championship — Northwest’s first ever national title and part of ack-to-back championships. The Bearcats played for five more titles, winning a third in 2009.

Throughout his career, Tjeerdsma was named AFCA Division II Coach of the Year four times (1998, 1999, 2008, 2009) and was a seven-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year winner. In 2013, he became athletic director at Northwest Missouri State University, a post he would hold for five years.

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