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Rumors fly regarding SHSU coaching search

Sports Editor

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 23:01

Coach 4

Northwest Missouri State

Mel Tjeerdsma

Sam Houston State University football head coach candidate Mel Tjeerdsma has been rumored to take reigns as the next head coach, according to Football Scoop. However, SHSU athletics is saying otherwise.

Football Scoop, an online source for coaching information, broke the announcement on Twitter last night regarding the 67-year-old from Division II’s Northwest Missouri State.

“Everything I’m hearing coming out of Sam Houston sounds like Mel Tjeerdsma will be the guy. Look for an announcement tomorrow,” the tweet read.

Although Football Scoop broke the story regarding former SHSU head football coach Willie Fritz’s departure, the website’s announcement was a little premature.

An official announcement from SHSU is expected soon, but the athletic department hasn’t confirmed any rumors.

Northwest Missouri State’s athletic department spoke to Tjeerdsma at their women’s basketball game Wednesday night. Tjeerdsma told the department that he expects a phone call Thursday morning regarding the SHSU job, but felt the offer was “slipping away.”

If Tjeerdsma did become SHSU’s 15th head football coach, he would be leaving as director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State, where he led as head coach for 17 seasons from 1994 through 2010. During his time as head coach, Tjeerdsma led the Bearcats to three Division II national championships with three supplemental national championship appearances. During his tenure, Tjeerdsma racked up 10 conference titles and two shared titles.

SHSU’s Associate Director of Media Relations Paul Ridings said the athletic department hasn’t reached any concrete hiring as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, but the department is pushing to name a head coach as soon as possible to get the position filled with only two weekends remaining for recruitment.

“It’s a work in progress,” Ridings said.

Director of Athletics Bobby Williams hasn’t counted any coach out and reiterated no one has been signed.

“The process for hiring a new head football is still on-going,” Williams said.

National Signing day is Feb. 5, and Williams said he is hoping to have a decision made quickly.

“We hope to have an announcement soon so the new coach can hit the ground running,” he said. “With National Signing Day right around the corner we understand the importance of having someone in place.”

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