Mel Tjeerdsma, head football coach of the Austin College Kangaroos for 10 seasons before beginning a record-breaking career in Division II coaching at Northwest Missouri State University, will join the Development team in the Austin College Institutional Advancement Division this fall, leading fundraising efforts for athletics enhancement in addition to other responsibilities.
“I am thrilled that Coach Tjeerdsma will join our team,” said Brooks Hull, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “His leadership and reputation among the Austin College family is well known. ‘Coach’ will be an incredible asset to our efforts, and it is great to have him back home at Austin College.”
From 1984 to 1993, Tjeerdsma guided the Austin College ’Roos to three TIAA championships and holds the record for coaching wins in the program. The ’Roos were 59-38-4 in the decade of his career and twice made trips to NAIA Division II playoffs. Tjeerdsma earned three TIAA Coach of the Year Awards.
“I’m so pleased to be returning to Austin College,” Tjeerdsma said. “The folks at Austin College gave me my first opportunity to be a head college football coach, and the experience of being part of the Austin College family has stayed with my wife, Carol, and me. Even though we’ve been gone for 17 years, we feel we’ve still been a part of that family. We look forward to being a daily part of that again.”
The coach has been back at Austin College many times in the intervening years, including a stop for the Legends athletics award event last summer when he received the College’s 2010 Coach Joe Spencer Award for Lifetime Achievement and Meritorious Service in Coaching.
The legendary coach has one more assignment on the field before the move to Sherman. He has been selected to coach the U.S. team in the 2011 International Federation of American Football world championships in Austria in July. The U.S. team won the competition, held every four years, in its first appearance in 2007.