The engineer of one of the most prolific offenses in NCAA Division II football is getting his opportunity to become a head coach. Bart Tatum, who has served as the offensive coordinator of Northwest Missouri State for the last 12 seasons, was named the head coach at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin Tuesday afternoon.
In the last 10 seasons, Northwest Missouri St. has scored at least 30 points in 91 of 130 games. Tatum helped lead the Bearcats to the 1998 and 1999 Division II national championship. On Saturday they lost 21-17 to Grand Valley St. in the title game.
Tatum takes over a program that was shaken when head coach John Ware died unexpectedly of a heart attack in September. Assistant Keeth Matheny filled in on an interim basis, as Missouri Southern went 3-7 this season and dropped their last four games.