> BEARCAT ADVANTAGE Change is the only constant in life. Although Bearcat Football has not changed it's standard of excellence over the course of the past 20 years, it is something we deeply embrace. Without change, there can be no progress. While some forms of change are larger than others, in the long run it's really about whether or not you embrace it that determines your future. And that's what truly excites me about our program's future. Our ability to embrace change is unparalleled and is one of the key factors that set us apart. Our standards will remain. We will continue to immerse ourselves in the process. We will continue to focus on the details, the little things that allow greatness to happen. On and off the field.
RICH WRIGHT HEAD COACH NORTHWEST ‘96
Coach Wright 20th HEAD COACH OF BEARCAT FOOTBALL
• Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator since 2011 • 2014 & 2015 ProGrass DII Coordinator of the Year • Bearcat defense ranked #1 in the nation 2015 and 2016 • Helped guide the Bearcats to four national title victories
"We want one thing for our student-athletes and that’s for them to be GREAT. Our program has been specifically tailored over a number of years to set our athletes up for the highest possible level of success. We don’t prepare to be good. We prepare to dominate our opponents." JOE QUINLIN HEAD STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH NORTHWEST ‘00 WEST VIRGINIA ‘03 LINEBACKER 1996-2000 TWO-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION
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The Bearcat weight room features 6,000+ square feet of space in what some have lovingly come to call "the dungeon". Ask any current or former Bearcat player and they will tell you the foundation of sustained success is created and found in Quinlin's domain. A member of the 1998 and 1999 National Championship Bearcat Football teams, Quinlin is more than knowledgeable about what it takes to build championship caliber athletes. His impact is evident by way of the team's success, as the Bearcats have amassed a 115-13 record during Quinlin's tenure. Quinlin can't do the dirty work though. That's up to the players. And they know that the hard work pays off in the end. Nearly 100% of Bearcat football players voluntarily spend their summers training as a unit.
Joe Quinlin is a NSCA and CSCCA certified, full-time Strength and Conditioning Coach who works directly with the football team on a daily basis. His training program has been tailored to provide specific results at specific points of the entire year.
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THE NEXT LEVEL Since 1996 the Bearcats have sent 25 players to NFL camps (16 since 2004). Currently, three former Bearcats are on active NFL rosters. The Bearcats boast the highest draft pick of any MIAA school, Seth Wand, who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Dave Tollefson, likely the Bearcats highest profile NFL star, had a spectacular seven-year career in the league, winning two Super Bowls ('07, '11) with the New York Giants. A few other Bearcats that have made a name for themselves at the next level include:
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DB Brandon Dixon (2012-13): Drafted in the 6th round by the New York Jets. Played the 2014 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers. DB Brian Dixon (2012-13): Signed as an undrafted FA by the New Orleans Saints, Brian was a regular contributor on defense and special teams for his first two seasons in The League. He is now with the Arizona Cardinals. DL Matt Longacre (2009-14): Picked up as an undrafted FA by the St. Louis Rams in 2015, Longacre ended his rookie season ranked as the third best player on active rosters who were drafted in the 4th Round or lower in the 2015 Draft. OL Tom Pestock (2004-09): Originally signed by the Colts, Pestock made a name for himself for two seasons with the Cardinals before following his true passion, professional wrestling. You can watch him star in the WWE under his stage name, Baron Corbin.
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For more than a decade Northwest's student-athletes have had a higher cumalitive GPA than the rest of the Northwest student body. That success in the classroom is partly attributed to Northwest's nationally-renowned Student Athlete Success Program (SASP). The goal of the program is to provide an environment in which student-athletes can experience their fullest personal, social, and academic growth. Resources available to student-atheletes through the SASP include: ADVISING All acadmeic advising is provided through the individual college and academic departments.
ELD I F HE T F F O S S E STUDENT-ATHLETE C C U S SUCCESS PROGRAM
ACADEMIC PROGRESS SASP surveys professors of each student-athlete three times each trimester. The grade check has instructors comment on: the level of work the student is maintaining, attendance and attentiveness, and any need for tuturial support.
Head Athletic Trainer, Kelly Quinlin ('00), is a fully certified athletic trainer, is a member of the Athletic Trainer Advisory Committee and is the recipient of the 2008 NATA College and University Athletic Trainers' Committee Above and Beyond Award.
MENTORING Individualized mentoring sessions are provided by the SASP, with the goal of helping students avoid academicrelated difficulties while developing opportunities for the improvement of skills.
Kelly and her staff (four graduate assistants) are the nuts and bolts that hold the team together.
SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION The SI program offers extracurricular peer tutoring groups for traditionally difficult classes. Led by students who have completed and earned high grades in the courses covered, SI's provide three regularly-scheduled study review sessions each week.
Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, the Bearcat athletic training staff is always on the forefront of athletic training practices to help athletes recover from and prevent injuries.
The athletic training room was completely remodeled in 2010 to incorporate today's latest recovery and rehab equipment, including a HydroWorx InstaFit Therapy Pool with integrated treadmill, a cold tub for athlete recovery, and specialized rehabilitation units that accelerate recovery time.
IN THE CLASSROOM Boasting a 79% academic success rate over the past ten years (best in the MIAA), the Bearcat Football program is far above the national average of 54 percent. Success in the classroom goes beyond the football team, as the 400+ Northwest studentathletes are consistently exceeding the national average. Which is fitting, as Northwest is a place for students who have a desire to be far from average.
TUTORING Free tutoring is available at the Talent Development Center, where students can find a tutor for almost all general education courses. Additionally, every effort will be made to find a tutor for an upper-level (300/400) course if needed. Tutoring sessions incorporate unversity-level study skills strategies, targeted test-taking advice, and content review of general studies and foundation-level courses in many majors. Tutoring sessions are designed to meet every individual student's needs.
"What sold me on Northwest was the way that the players and the student body BELIEVED. They were all in! They bled green. That spoke volumes to me. The other schools I visited sometimes had more stuff, but not one of them had more substance." TONY "TIGER" MILES NORTHWEST '00 WIDE RECEIVER 1996-2000 TWO-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION
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It's pretty simple. There is nothing more important than family. And that's exactly what the Bearcat Football team is...a family whose bond is stronger than any challenge that awaits. For the Bearcat Football team, family isn't just a saying, it's a way of life. Words mean nothing unless actions back it up. And at Northwest you can certainly find the actions to back it up. Whether it's a shoulder to lean on in tough times, or a brother to call on when you need somewhere to eat Thanksgiving dinner...at Northwest you will always have a family member by your side.
For two-decades the Bearcat Football program has oozed excellence. Opponents have revamped their stadiums, added facilities, built bigger weight rooms...yet the Bearcat force has stayed strong. What's responsible for the sustained level of excellence? It's not any one person. And it's not something you can physically touch or see. It's something more. The Force. It's an inate desire to achieve the highest level of success. The burning desire to be the best. Dedication to the process and hard work. Doing all the little things on a daily basis that 99% of people will never see.
That's what the Bearcat Football culture is all about. It was born years ago by teams that had a sense they could build something special. Ever since that time in the mid-nineties, an unwritten code has been instilled in each new Bearcat. That code is one of a brotherhood stonger than any other. A committment to do everything possible to help each other climb the mountain. Settling for nothing. Always striving for better.
Bearcat Football tradition is about honoring those that put on the green and white before you. Those that paved the way and laid the groundwork for the winningest college football program since 2000. While there are several specific acts of tradition that take place, the basis of each is rooted in the winning tradition at Northwest.
"One of the things that allows this program to sustain a remarkably high level of success is the amount of talent we have. Did I want to start my first three seasons? Absolutely I did. But I trusted the process. That's why I chose to be a Bearcat in the first place. I had complete faith in the coaches and players around me because we were all working toward the same goal every single day. Could I have played more and thrown for a few more touchdowns if I went somewhere else? Sure. But I also wouldn't have three rings." KYLE ZIMMERMAN NORTHWEST '16 QUARTERBACK 2012-2016 THREE-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION @NWBEARCATSFB >
FIREPOWER It's certainly not a one-sided attack for the Bearcats. No, a balanced attack is what makes the wheels churn. Through the air and on the ground, the Bearcats know that success is determined by unselfish play, doing your 1/11th and controlling possession. When those three things happen, the scoreboard lights up.
It truly is a culmination of individual efforts and responsibilities that makes up a high-octane attack that is the Bearcat offense.
SCORING The 2016 team outscored playoff opponents 143-36. The 2015 championship team was similar, outscoring playoff opponents 164-55. For the 2016 season, the Bearcats averaged 45.4 points per game. The Bearcats are clearly no strangers to the endzone. During Dorrel's five years as head coach the team has averaged 41.8 points per game.
THROUGH THE AIR Quarterback U? Some might say that about Northwest. Having a long and storied history of elite-level quarterbacks is part of what has made Northwest consistently successful. While a strong leader on offense is always an essential part to the puzzle, there has to be a strong supporting cast catching the ball. Wide receivers come from all over the country to torch the turf at Northwest.
The Bearcats have a long tradition of high profile athletes at the skill positions, but any one of those players, former or current, will tell you it all starts up front with the O-Line. The hogmollies up front set the tone for the offense and their success protecting the quarterback and opening up run lanes is what drives the offense to ever higher levels.
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ON THE GROUND We mentioned that it takes a balanced attack, right? While the QB position is high-profile at Northwest, the running back spot is not for the faint of heart. It's a premier position that features those that are hardnosed and have playmaking ability. Typically a role where sharing carries is a requirement, running backs at Northwest are unselfish and are put in situations that play to their strengths. @NWBEARCATSFB >
"Understand that being average is not acceptable. Only through hard work and sacrifice do we develop a champion's mentality. As Bearcats, we strive towards measurable self-improvement each day. This I learned from my Bearcat mentors, coaches, professors, teammates and alumni." DR. AL R. CADE JR. NORTHWEST '81 DEFENSIVE LINE 1978-1981
THE NEW BLACKSHIRTS
A lofty claim? Probably. But that's the reality for a Bearcat defense that has led the nation in overall defense in back-to-back seasons. They are truly the new Blackshirts in every sense of the phrase. Run stuffing and QB sacking up front. Ballhawking in the back. The defense is dominant. Period. They impose their will on every single opponent that dares to step on the same playing surface.
The truth is...it's a mentality. A collective mindset that stems from the players as much as the coaches. An attitude of "on Saturdays we will impose our will on the opposing offense." Play fast and loose. That's the motto. As you can tell, they have some fun doing it.
DOMINANT IN EVERY PHASE For two years in a row the defense has been at or near the top of every major defensive statistical category. In 2016, the defense allowed only 67.7 yards rushing per game, 173.2 passing yards per game while recording 47 sacks and sniping 18 interceptions, taking 5 of those picks to the house. They're more than a force to be reckoned with...they're downright vicious.
NO FLUKE We mentioned they're the best D in the land in the previous two seasons. However, that's no twoyear fluke. Over the last five seasons the Bearcats have allowed a paltry 272.1 yards per game. In that same time the defensive unit has sent four players to the pros, three of which currently play in the NFL with a couple more from the 2016 squad looking to join them. Lots of talent. High expectations. And some 'Cats that are all about that life.
Some wonder whether it's attributed to individual talent. Others ask if it's due to the schemes mocked up in the film room.
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BEATING THE BEST The best-of-the-best offensive units have tried their hand against the Bearcat D. It's always the same result. Failure. When the top ranked offense came into Bearcat Stadium this year in the second-round of the playoffs, they thought it was just another game. They were wrong. Boasting one of the best run attacks in the nation, the Bearcats held them to -30 yards rushing. Yeah, you read that right. @NWBEARCATSFB >
"A Bearcat will dedicate himself to the team before himself. This is the difference between Northwest and other programs." NICK INZERELLO
NORTHWEST '97 WIDE RECEIVER 1994-1997 SR DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT - USA FOOTBALL
On the field and off, the Bearcats succeed at a high-level in anything they put their minds to. While team accomplishments are what everyone strives for (one in particular), there are host of players that have been recognized for their individual contributions on the playing field. In the classroom, the Bearcats hold themselves to the highest standards, just like they do when they strap up for a game. Here is an overview of the highest awards, accolades and recognition bestowed on some of the greats to have put on the green and white.
WILLIAM V. CAMPBELL TROPHY
DIVISION II NATIONAL ACADEMIC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR ALL-AMERICANS
KEN B. JONES AWARD
DIVISION II PLAYER OF THE YEAR
AP LITTLE ALL-AMERICANS
MIAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Often referred to as the "Academic
Honoring the top scholar-athlete
It's not easy to get on the Academic
Heisman", the award is given to the
at the Division II level, the award
All-American list. The Bearcats
Awarded to the the MIAA's most
Voted by coaches and media as the
A difficult list to make, this is for
Not a participation trophy by any
The best in the conference. That's
nation's top player at the Division
the cream of the crop. Only one
stretch of the imagination, the AP
what Northwest is and that's the
nation's top scholar-athlete and
is highly competitive and among
provides a $25,000 postgraduate
the highest honors an athlete can
do a pretty good job of filling it up
nominees are judged on athletic
II level, the award is pretty self
team for offense and defense is
Little All-American list includes
type of player we like to put on
though, placing 14 players on the
and academic accomplishments,
explanatory. It's only for the best.
named each year. If you make it,
players from non-FBS schools.
the field. 15 players in total have
scholarship. Past winners include LB John Edmonds (2003) and QB
achieve. Previous Bearcats to
list in total, 13 of those occurring
as well as campus/community
Previous winners include RB
you're legit. Northwest has put 19
Since it's inception, Northwest
captured the award wearing the
claim the award include DB Myles
since the 2004 season. This year
service. Previous Bearcats to
Xavier Omon (2007), DB Myles
players on the list since 1996.
has placed 50 players on the list,
green and white. Of those 15
Trevor Adams (2013).
Burnsides (2009-2010) and QB
Kyle Zimmerman (QB) took home
claim the award include FB
Burnsides (2008), DB Ryan Jones
45 one of those honors coming
award winners, 13 have been
Trevor Adams (2012-2013).
the top honor, Academic All-
Tucker Woolsey (2001-2002), QB
(2010), DL Matt Longacre (2014),
named the MIAA's best since
American of the Year, something
and K Simon Mathiesen (2015).
no Bearcat had ever done.
DB Myles Burnsides (2009-2010),
WR Jake Soy (2010-2011) and QB Trevor Adams (2012-2013).
"When I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of the 2009 season, the coaching staff, players, trainers and fans here could not have been more supportive of me and my family. I found out that people will bend over backwards for you here." JOEL OSBORN - WR COACH/RECRUITING COORDINATOR NORTHWEST '08, '10 QUARTERBACK 2005-2008
COMMUNITY Maryville...where do you even begin to describe what lies in the northwest corner of Missouri. It's probably best summed up by former coach Scott Bostwick. He said that when he was recruited to coach here he was shown around town by a booster. Knowing Scott was coming from a metropolitan area and seeing an uneasy look on Scott's face, the booster turned to Bostwick and said, "Scott, just give it a chance. This place is special. It'll grow on you."
It's that sentiment that you'll find if you ask nearly anyone in the community "What do you like about Maryville?" Hard to put into words.
This place is special.. it'll grow on you.
The community is special indeed and that's why the team takes strides to do it's share in supporting and leading efforts to care for the town they call home. 25
The annual team city cleanup, helping senior citizens in need with home improvements, and visiting the local elementary schools for lunch or to read a few books are just a few of the ways that the Bearcat Football team pitches in and gives back to the Marvyille community. Located about an hour north of Kansas City, Maryville is home to 12,000 full-time residents.
The 10th President in University history, Dr. John Jasinski, is an avid supporter of Bearcat athletics. The enthusiasm he shows while cheering on Bearcat student-athletes is contagious. He knows it's about more than just the games though. "Educating and providing the resources for our students to be successful leaders in the future is why we do what we do at Northwest. Combine that with the opportunity to provide some of those students, who happen to be athletes, a stage to further enhance their critical decsion making skills...it's a special thing. And to see our student-athletes succeed at the highest level, well that's really icing on the cake."
At the heart of the community lies the Northwest Missouri State University. With a student body of 6,600+, the town swells with activity when class is in session. At Northwest, every day is about fulfilling potential. The mission is to provide opportunities where you can get excited about your future. At Northwest, 95% of our students gain profession-based experience by working with facutly and researchers, or participating in internships or service learning. Members of the student body come from near and far to attend Northwest, representing 44 states in the U.S. and
30 countries from around the world. A traditional student body, with the average age of 20, most students live on or within a short walk of campus. The average ACT score of incoming freshmen is 22 and 79% of incoming freshmen rank in the upper half of their high school graduating class.
...providing the resources for our students to be successful leaders in the future is why we do what we do at Northwest. When students get to campus, they're more than likely involved in one of more than 150 student organizations.
And they're good at what they do. Since 2009, Northwest has won twenty-one national titles in academic and athletic competition. In between the hustle and bustle of class, studying and organizational activities, students can enjoy Starbucks in library, one of several food chain eateries in the Union, or the brand new Foster Fitness Center - a nearly 20,000 sq. ft. open-floor space that features different areas for cardio, weight-lifting, aerobics, yoga spin classes and free fitness courses. Oh, and during the spring make sure to take a walk through campus to admire the state's arboretum. It's quite picturesque. @NWBEARCATSFB >
GAMEDAY From tailgates to tearing down goalposts, nothing beats the game day atmosphere and camaraderie found at Northwest Missouri State University.
Tailgate with friends, get your picture with Bobby Bearcat, and join the Bearcat Marching Band, Bearcat Cheerleaders and Bearcat Steppers at College Park for the build-up to kickoff before heading to the the game. Ask anyone that's been to a game in Maryville and we bet you'll hear something along the lines of, "Those fans are some of the best in the country at any level. That place gets rockin' when they get goin' and they don't stop." BOOM!!! There's a Bearcat touchdown and the Phi Sig cannon that rocks the stadium from across the street after every score. The 'Cats are rollin' once again. Saturdays in the 'Ville...doesn't get much better.
"Bearcat game day has definitely been one of the most special parts of my experience at Northwest. It's hard to describe really. I've been to games at Nebraska and Mizzou...those environments are great. But there's just this special energy at Northwest that you have to experience for yourself."
NORTHWEST TRACK & FIELD '15
ATTENDANCE RECORDS FOR BEARCAT STADIUM (CAPACITY 6,500)
1. 11,002 - VS. PITT ST - OCT. 18, 2014 2. 10,805 - VS. MO WEST - OCT. 2, 2010 3. 10,283 - VS. PITT ST - OCT. 29, 2016
CHAMPIONS A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER
NOT ONE...NOT TWO...NOT THREE...NOT FOUR...NOT FIVE...
ix. The most national championships of any NCAA Division II football program.
The sixth championship featured one of the most epic environments ever for a championship football game. A winter storm rained snow from the skies for a matchup against the #2 North Alabama Lions. The game was billed as a bout of the top two DII football programs. Historically, both teams are the cream of the crop. It took both teams most of the first quarter to figure out how to manuevre in the conditions. But just before halftime the Bearcats found their flow on offense and punched it in from seven yards out. A 7-3 lead at the break wasn't ideal, but the dawgs were hungry. The defense and special teams created havoc in the second half, allowing only 22 yards rushing for the game and recording a safety on a muffed punt. Mid-way through the third quarter the momentum had shifted almost
completely in favor of the Bearcats and they would refuse to let it go. A pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the cap on the 'Cats quest to go back-to-back as they took out the Lions by a final score of 29-3. And that was that. A perfect two season run. Thirty wins. Zero losses. More than deserving, the senior class ended their collective Bearcat career an astonishing 53-2 overall. The group collected more championship rings (3) than they had total losses in their careers at Northwest (2). There's only one word to describe those types of numbers...dominant. Previous titles came in 1998, 1999, 2009, 2013 and 2015. (If you're counting, that's 6 titles in 19 years.) Just one season prior, the Bearcats achieved the same feat. Going 15-0 and winning the national championship handily over #2 West Sheperd, 34-7. The '13 title closed out the previous host venue for the championship game in Muscle Shoals and was an opportunity to honor the memory of former head
coach and defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick with the team sporting a red "FAMILY" on the back of their jerseys. A nod to the signature red hat Bostwick wore for every game.
THE BEARCATS HAVE PLAYED IN 10 OF THE LAST 19 NATIONAL TITLE GAMES
The '09 title was the one that broke the infamous streak. One that saw the Bearcats go to four straight title games, emerging on the wrong side of the scoreboard in each. The team never gave up on their goals, beating Grand Valley State in its fifth straight title game appearance. In '99 the 'Cats played a marathon of a football game. Often mentioned by sports pundits as one of the best college football games of all-time, it would take 4 OTs for the Bearcats to secure their second straight title. Finally, there was the 1998 National Championship...the first title...where it all began. Few would've thought the green gang from the corner of Missouri would go on to become one of the premier programs in all of college football. And they won't stop.