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Northwest Makes it Official: Tjeerdsma Returning to University as AD

Former Bearcat head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma was introduced as director of athletics during a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Lamkin Activities Center.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Northwest Missouri State University is bringing a familiar face back to Maryville to head up its athletic department.

Former Bearcat head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma was introduced as director of athletics during a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Lamkin Activities Center.

Tjeerdsma retired after 17 years as head coach at Northwest in 2010. He led the Bearcats to three NCAA Division II National Championships and 12 MIAA Championships. 

After leaving Maryville, Tjeerdsma returned to Austin College in Sherman, Texas where he worked as an athletic fundraiser with the school's advancement division. He was the head coach at Austin for 10 years before taking over at Northwest in 1994.

Tjeerdsma fills the opening left by Wren Baker. Baker left Northwest on Feb. 22, after two years as athletic director to become the deputy athletic director of external affairs at the University of Memphis. 

Lori Hopkins has served as interim athletic director since Baker's departure.



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