Mel Tjeerdsma

Mel Tjeerdsma, former Northwest football coach, was appointed to the Northwest Board of Regents Aug. 16.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced Mel Tjeerdsma’s appointment to the Northwest Board of Regents Aug. 16.

Tjeerdsma will begin serving immediately, as he is an interim appointment with a term scheduled through Jan. 1, 2025.

Tjeerdsma was head coach of the Northwest football team from 1994 to 2010, where he led the Bearcats to a combined 183-43 record, 16-straight winning seasons, three NCAA Division II National Championships, and 12 MIAA titles.

Tjeerdsma went on to serve as Northwest’s director of athletics from the spring semester of 2013 to April 2019. During that time, he played a key role in assisting campus faculty upgrades, specifically in the athletic department.

In December 2018, Tjeerdsma was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“For whatever reason, I don’t know why, but from the time I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was something with athletics, and I really wanted to be a coach,” Tjeerdsma said in an interview with the National Football foundation. “So I didn’t fall into it, it was something I dreamt of my whole life.”

As a Board of Regents member, Tjeerdsma will help the University with resource management and make general, educational and financial policies for Northwest.

Tjeerdsma filled the seat of Patrick Harr, whose term expired Jan. 1 2019. Harr continued to serve through the board’s Aug. 9 meeting.

Jason Klindt, member of the Board of Regents since 2018, said Tjeerdsma will add great insight to the board.

“What Mel brings to the board is deep ties to both the Maryville and Northwest communities,” Klindt said. “That is invaluable for our board. I give Governor Parson and Senator Hegeman credit for understanding the unique perspective that he brings.”

The next Northwest Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 5 in the J.W. Student Union Boardroom, where Tjeerdsma will sit alongside eight other members for the first time.

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