Huntsville, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Mel Tjeerdsma may be going from being a Bearcat to a Bearkat.
Tjeerdsma, who led Northwest Missouri State to three NCAA Division II football championships, will be named the new head coach at FCS power Sam Houston State, according to the FootballScoop.com coaching website.
Tjeerdsma, 67, retired in 2010 after 17 seasons as the Bearcats' football coach. He became the school's athletic director last April.
Tjeerdsma would become the 15th head football coach in Sam Houston history, succeeding Willie Fritz, who resigned as the Bearkats' head coach earlier this month to take over at Georgia Southern.
Tjeerdsma guided Northwest Missouri State to Division II titles in 1998, 1999 and 2009 as well as four other championship game appearances. He posted a 183-43 record with the Bearcats, ironically earning 11 victories in 13 games against Fritz when Fritz also coached in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, leading Central Missouri.
Before arriving at Northwest Missouri State, Tjeerdsma spent 10 seasons guiding NAIA member Austin College. He has a 242-82-4 career record in 27 overall seasons.
Sam Houston had narrowed its search to five finalists. In addition to Tjeerdsma, athletic director Bobby Williams announced earlier this week former Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler, Virginia offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim, Texas co-offensive coordinator Darrell Wyatt and North Texas offensive coordinator Mike Canales were finalists. Wyatt reportedly pulled his name from consideration for the job on Monday.
Sam Houston posted a 9-5 record this past season, making its third straight appearance in the FCS playoffs. The Bearkats were Southland Conference champions and the FCS national runners-up in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.