New Hall of Fame member Mel Tjeersdma

New Hall of Fame member Mel Tjeersdma

The Division II Football Hall of Fame has named three of the most successful coaches in the history of college football for its Hall of Fame Class of 2010, and Northwest Missouri State’s Mel Tjeerdsma is on the list joining Ken Sparks and Bobby Wallace as its 12th induction class on Dec. 17.

Tjeerdsma, entering his 17th season at Northwest Missouri State, has led the Bearcats to five consecutive appearances in the Division II Championship Game and to three NCAA titles. He and Wallace are the only coaches in the 37-year history of the Division II Football Championship to have coached three national championship teams.

Tjeerdsma has 230 overall collegiate wins, won 11 conference championships and made 12 NCAA playoff appearances at Northwest. His 38 playoff games coached, 29 playoff wins and seven championship game appearances are the most in Division II history. His 1998 national championship team was also the first in Division II history to go 15-0.

Tjeerdsma is a four-time AFCA Division II Coach of the Year (1998, 1999, 2008, 2009) and 11-time MIAA Coach of the Year (1995-2000, 2002, 2006-09). His program will enter the 2009 season with 37 consecutive wins in MIAA play.

Sparks, current head coach at Carson-Newman (Tenn.) College, ranks as the winningest coach in Division II history. Wallace, current head coach at the University of West Alabama, became the first coach in college football history to win as many as 40 games in just three seasons when he led the University of North Alabama to a 41-1 record and three straight NCAA Division II National Championships from 1993-95.

The trio of coaches will be inducted on Dec. 17 as part of a combined Harlon Hill Trophy and Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet at 6:30 p.m. at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Ala.