Northwest Missouri State Bearcats
First season 1908
Athletic director [[|Mel Tjeerdsma]]
Head coach Adam Dorrel
Home stadium Bearcat Stadium
Stadium capacity 6,500
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Maryville, MO
League NCAA Division II
Conference MIAA
All-time record
Postseason bowl record 0–0
Claimed national titles 3 (D-II, 1998, 1999, 2009)
Conference titles 24
Division titles 0
Heisman winners 0
Consensus All-Americans 69
Current uniform
Colors Hunter Green and Black            
Marching band Bearcat Marching Band (BMB)
Rivals Missouri Western Griffons
Pittsburg State Gorillas
Truman Bulldogs

The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats football team has appeared in seven NCAA Division II national title games (and won three) since going 0-11 in Mel Tjeerdsma's first season in 1994.

The Bearcats have made the playoffs in 15 seasons. They have also won or shared 23 MIAA titles.

Northwest plays its games at Bearcat Stadium, built in 1917, and the oldest NCAA Division II stadium still in use. The field was expanded to 6,500 seats and a video screen was added in 2003 after Tjeerdsma began his run.[1]

It plays its games with Pittsburg State University at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead. Pittsburg has made four national title appearances since 1991. The Oct. 17, 2002 game was witnessed by 26,695—the largest number in MIAA history.[2]

Its best attended local home game was 10,805 on Oct. 2, 2010 against Missouri Western in the Northwest Missouri-Missouri Western football rivalry.


Northwest was one of the original 1912 organizers of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. It has not played in any other conference. The conference headquarters until 1997 was in the Maryville, Missouri home of its first commissioner Ken B. Jones. In 1997 it moved to Overland Park, Kansas and has subsequently moved to Kansas City.[2] [2]

NCAA Division II championship gamesEdit


In 1998 the Bearcats won the NCAA Division II national football championship by going 15-0—the first time in history a Division II school won 15 games and the first time a Northwest school won a team national championship in any sport.


In 1999 Northwest defeated Carson-Newman College 58-52 in four overtimes to defend the title. The game was the longest in NCAA football playoff history in number of extra periods, surpassing six contests that were extended by three overtimes. The broadcast analyst on ESPN called it the best college football game he'd ever seen. The game solidified ESPN's interest in Division II football, prompting ESPN to cover the semi-final games.


In 2005 the Bearcats were a Cinderella team, ranked 22nd at the start of the playoffs, but they won all of their playoff games on the road until reaching the finals against Grand Valley State University. Northwest led the game until the closing minutes and still almost pulled the game out. The Cinderella nature of Northwest coming from 22nd to challenge the #1 team in the final has been evoked as a weakness of the Bowl Championship Series, where such a run would be impossible.


In the 2006 regular season the Bearcats went undefeated at 11-0. It was during their third playoff game, a game played against Bloomsburg University, that ESPN-U televised the game live from Maryville. This was the first nationally televised game from Bearcat Stadium. The game was also the first time that temporary lights (provided by ESPN) were used at Bearcat Stadium, (its lights were removed in 1977.) The Bearcats went 3-0 in the playoffs, thus earning a rematch against the Grand Valley State University Lakers at the NCAA Division II National Championship Game in Florence, AL, on December 16, 2006. The Bearcats fell to GVSU 17-14 after turning the ball over four times during the game.


In the 2007 regular season the Bearcats went 9-1. Their only loss was to the #1 University of Nebraska at Omaha, who went 12-0 in the regular season. The Bearcats received a first round bye. In the second round, they faced #3 West Texas A&M University at Bearcat Stadium, and won with a final score of 56-28. In the quarterfinals the Bearcats traveled to Chadron, Nebraska to face #1 Chadron State College. Xavier Omon lead the Bearcats to a 26-13 victory by rushing for a personal best 309 yards (283 m). The Bearcats faced their long-time post-season rivals Grand Valley State University in the semifinals. Both Grand Valley and Northwest were #2 seeds in their respective regions, but the NCAA stated that due to Northwest's strength of schedule, Northwest would receive the home game. The game was broadcast from Bearcat Stadium on ESPN2; this was the second nationally televised game from Bearcat Stadium. The game was close through the third quarter. At the beginning of the fourth quarter Northwest lead the close contest, 17-16. But after a Northwest interception that produced a touchdown, and a 98-yard (90 m) Xavier Omon touchdown run, the Bearcats prevailed with a final score of 34-16, ending Grand Valley's NCAA record-setting 40-game winning streak. The Bearcats lost to #8 Valdosta State University in the NCAA Division II national football championship at 12pm (Eastern) on Saturday December 15, 2007 in Florence, Alabama; the game was broadcast on ESPN2.


Main articles: 2008 NCAA Division II National Football Championship playoffs and 2008 NCAA Division II National Football Championship game

In 2008 the Bearcats played in their fourth consecutive national title game and lost to Minnesota-Duluth which had a 15-0 season. Northwest has never lost a championship by more than seven points.


Main articles: 2009 NCAA Division II National Football Championship playoffs and 2009 NCAA Division II National Football Championship game

In 2009 the Bearcats made its fifth consecutive national title appearance. No NCAA team in any division has ever done that. The Bearcats which were ranked #2 going into the playoffs received a first round bye. In the second round they avenged their only loss of the season by defeating Texas Abilene. In the closest game of the playoffs they defeated Central Washington University (ranked #1 at the time) in the quarterfinals by rallying in the second half and then blocking a Central Washington extra point in the closing seconds. In the semifinals it defeated University of California of Pennsylvania to qualify for its third meeting in the finals with Grand Valley.

Post season resultsEdit

At the conclusion of the November 24, 2012, game Northwest is 36-14 in post season play. It has been in the playoffs every year since 2004 and is 25-8 in that string.

Year NW Rank Venue Opp Rank Opponent Score W/L Round Notes
1984--Away--Nebraska-Omaha15-28L1st Round
198918Away--Pittsburg State7-28L1st Round
19962Away--Nebraska-Omaha22-21W1st Round
19962Away--Northern Colorado26-27LQuarterfinal
19973Maryville16North Dakota State39-28W1st Round
19973Maryville--Northern Colorado19-35LQuarterfinal
19982Maryville16Nebraska-Omaha28-14W1st Round
19982Maryville6Northern Colorado42-17WQuarterfinal
19982Maryville11Texas A&M-Kingsville49-34WSemifinal
19982Braly Stadium3Carson-Newman24-6WFinals
19994Maryville9North Dakota State20-13W1st Round
19994Maryville3Northern Colorado43-35WQuarterfinal
19994Maryville--Indiana University (Pa.)20-12WSemifinal
19994Braly Stadium1Carson-Newman 58-52WFinals
20001Maryville5North Dakota State17-13L1st Round
20024Maryville11Minnesota-Duluth45-41W2nd Round (first round bye)
20024Maryville7Northern Colorado12-23LQuarterfinal
20044Maryville6Texas A&M-Kingsville 34-14W1st Round
20044Away1Pittsburg State36-50LQuarterfinal
200521Away29Angelo State45-14W1st Round
200521Away12Washburn42-32W2nd Round
200521Away23Pittsburg State21-10WQuarterfinal
200521Away13North Alabama25-24WSemifinal
200521Braly Stadium1Grand Valley State17-21LFinals
20062Maryville18Midwestern State27-0W2nd Round (first round bye)
20062Maryville8Chadron State28-21WQuarterfinal
20062Braly Stadium1Grand Valley State14-17LFinals
20075Maryville4West Texas A&M56-28W2nd Round (first round bye)
20075Away2Chadron State26-13WQuarterfinal
20075Maryville1Grand Valley State34-16WSemifinal
20075Braly Stadium8Valdsota State20-25LFinals
20083Maryville10Pittsburg State38-35W2nd Round (first round bye)
20083Away2Abilene Christian45-36WQuarterfinal
20083Away5North Alabama41-7WSemifinal
20083Braly Stadium6Minnesota-Duluth14-21LFinals
20092Maryville16Abilene Christian35-10W2nd Round (first round bye)
20092Away1Central Washington21-20WQuarterfinal
20092Maryville20California (Pennsylvnania)56-31WSemifinal
20092Braly Stadium3Grand Valley State30-23WFinals
20103Maryville-Missouri Western28-24W1st RoundNorthwest trailed by 17 at half—it largest deficit that it had come back from.[3]
20103Away4Texas A&M-Kingsville35-31W2nd RoundTexas had defeated Northwest on opening day. Northwest won with 17 seconds remaining on Blake Bolles to Josh Baker pass.
20103Maryville7Central Missouri37-20WQuarterfinalNorthwest had won earlier game in Warrensburg on a field goal as time expired that was attended by 13,096—the biggest crowd at MIAA venue in history.[4]
20103Away4Texas A&M-Kingsville35-31W2nd RoundTexas had defeated Northwest on opening day. Northwest won with 17 seconds remaining on Blake Bolles to Josh Baker pass.
20103Away1Minnesota-Duluth13-17LSemifinalPlayed during snow storm that collapsed the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome roof. Tempeatures were in the single digits and the wind blew at 30 mph. Northwest led most of the game until 4:12 left in the fourth quarter.
20117Away17Missouri Western35-29W1st RoundNorthwest lost earlier game in St. Joseph 31-28. Northwest rallied in second half with 21 unanswered points. Northwest had been down 16-0 in the first four minutes of the game.[5]
20117Away1Midwestern State38-31W2nd Round (1 OT)Midwest was ranked #1 going into the game and was one of only 3 undefeated D2 teams. Midwest led 28-10 in the second quarter - the biggest Northwest deficit since it began its dominance in 2004. The game was played in 30 mph winds. Midwest marched to the Bearcat 9 with 10 seconds remaining. Greg Saladino shanked a potential game winning field goal throwing it into overtime. Bearcat quarterback Trevor Adams hit Kyle Kilgore on a 13-yard wheel route for the overtime's only score by either team.[6]
20117Away6Pittsburg State16-41LQuarterfinalPittsburg had defeated the Bearcats earlier in the season in a game that broke Northwest's record 49 straight MIAA victory record (a game in which the Bearcats had led 21-0) and this was a rematch of MIAA teams. The game was played in a driving rain. Northwest led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter and it was tied at half. Pittsburg scored 31 points in second half.
201210Maryville9Henderson State35-0WFirst Round
201210Away2Minnesota State-Mankato35-38 (2OT)LSecond RoundNorthwest was down 0-21 but scored 28 points in the second half to force two overtimes in which Northwest ultimately lost after Mankato turned an intercepted pass into a field goal.


Year Coach W L T MIAA NCAA D2
1908Paul A. White321
1916George Palfreyman25
1917George Palfreyman07
1918M.H. Simms11
1919Robert Rice04
1920Robert Rice03
1921Russell Sprong26
1922Eugene Maynor44
1923H.F. Lawrence331
1924H.F. Lawrence611
1925H.F. Lawrence701X
1926H.F. Lawrence62
1927E.A. Davis17
1928E.A. Davis531
1929E.A. Davis323
1930E.A. Davis451
1931E.A. Davis90X
1932E.A. Davis441
1933E.A. Davis18
1934E.A. Davis45
1935E.A. Davis351
1936E.A. Davis441
1937Ryland Milner 252
1938Ryland Milner 90X
1939Ryland Milner 90X
1940Ryland Milner 72
1941Ryland Milner 621X
1942Ryland Milner 421X
1943Ryland Milner 511
1944Ryland Milner 70
1946Ryland Milner 43
1947Ryland Milner 522
1948Ryland Milner 62X
1949Ryland Milner 521
1950Ryland Milner 351
1951Ryland Milner 261
1952Ryland Milner 63X
1953Ryland Milner 341
1954Ryland Milner 26
1955Ryland Milner 251
1956Ryland Milner 27
1957Ryland Milner 161
1958Paul Turner 08
1959Paul Turner 332
1960Earl Baker 54
1961Earl Baker 27
1962Earl Baker 09
1963Ivan Schottel 351
1964Ivan Schottel 63
1965Ivan Schottel 63
1966Ivan Schottel 45
1967Ivan Schottel 36
1968Ivan Schottel 09
1969Ivan Schottel 36
1971Gladden Dye 45
1972Gladden Dye 73X
1973Gladden Dye 64X
1974Gladden Dye 82
1975Gladden Dye 73
1976Jim Redd 82
1977Jim Redd 551
1978Jim Redd 011
1979Jim Redd 65X
1980Jim Redd 28
1981Jim Redd 64
1982Jim Redd 271
1983Vernon Thomsen 56
1984Vernon Thomsen 102X1st Round
1985Vernon Thomsen 461
1986Vernon Thomsen 29
1987Vernon Thomsen 38
1988Harold "Bud" Elliott 29
1989Harold "Bud" Elliott 931st Round
1990Harold "Bud" Elliott 281
1991Harold "Bud" Elliott 56
1992Harold "Bud" Elliott 65
1993Harold "Bud" Elliott 38
1994Mel Tjeerdsma 011
1995Mel Tjeerdsma 65
1996Mel Tjeerdsma 112XQuarterfinals
1997Mel Tjeerdsma 121XQuarterfinals
1998Mel Tjeerdsma 150XFinals-Champ
1999Mel Tjeerdsma 141XFinals-Champ
2000Mel Tjeerdsma 111X1st Round
2001Mel Tjeerdsma 74
2002Mel Tjeerdsma 121XQuarterfinals
2003Mel Tjeerdsma 83X
2004Mel Tjeerdsma 112Quarterfinals
2005Mel Tjeerdsma 114Finals-Runner Up
2006Mel Tjeerdsma 141XFinals-Runner Up
2007Mel Tjeerdsma 122XFinals-Runner Up
2008Mel Tjeerdsma 132XFinals-Runner Up
2009Mel Tjeerdsma 141XFinals-Champ
2010Mel Tjeerdsma 122XSemifinals
2011Adam Dorrel 113 Quarterfinal (3rd round) loss to Pittsburg which had unseated it as MIAA champ.
2012Adam Dorrel 113 Second Round loss to Minnesota State-Mankato

Coaching deathEdit

On June 5, 2011 Bearcats head coach Scott Bostwick died of an apparent heart attack in Maryville.[7] The 49-year-old Bostwick had been named head coach of the Bearcats in December, 2010 following the retirement of longtime coach Mel Tjeerdsma.[8] Bostwick had been on the Northwest coaching staff since 1994, and most recently had served as defensive coordinator under Tjeerdsma. In 2007 had been voted the American Football Coaches Association Division II Assistant coach of the year.[9]

Notable players and coachesEdit


  1. Northwest Missouri State University Football Media Guide - - Retrieved September 22, 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Conference History". Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  4. "Field Goal as Time Expires Gives Title to NWMSU". The Miaa. 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  5. Sam Robinson St. Joseph News-Press (2011-11-19). "Northwest storms back in 2nd half to beat Western - Sports News Story - St. Joseph". Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  6. Sam Robinson St. Joseph News-Press (1959-06-19). "Northwest Missouri continues comeback run with OT victory - College Sports News Story - St. Joseph". Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  7. "NWMSU: Head Coach Scott Bostwick Has Died". KCTV 5. June 5, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  8. "Coach dies from apparent heart attack". Associated Press via KTVO-TV website. 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
  9. "Northwest Missouri State coach dies". USA Today. 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-06-05.

External linksEdit

Template:Northwest Missouri State Bearcats football coach navbox

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