Former WWU assistant coach Scott Bostwick dies of apparent heart attack
June 5, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Remembering Scott Bostwick
By David Boyce
Scott Bostwick embraced life with such passion that any contact with him left you feeling upbeat.
Bostwick loved his family, loved his job for 17 years as Northwest Missouri State defensive coordinator and loved living.
He was absolutely ecstatic when he was named head coach for the Bearcats, replacing Mel Tjeerdsma, who retired in late December.
Awesome was how Bostwick felt about his new job and responsibilities. He was ready and eager to tackle the challenge of leading one of the top NCAA Division II football programs.
It seems so cruel that he will never get that opportunity. Bostwick suddenly died Sunday morning at his home while he was mowing his lawn. He was 49. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, daughter, Leah, and son, Eric.
"He was a man of faith and his priorities were with his family and Northwest. Those are pretty admirable qualities to have," Northwest athletic director Wren Baker said.
"What I remember most about Scott is how he cared about people. Scott was genuinely happy for good things to happen to people. He wasn't a guy who played politics, who gave lip service and said what people wanted to hear. He knew players' families, the families of his co-workers. He cared about them and prayed for them. I hope that's what people remember about him."
It's why so many people were absolutely thrilled he got the opportunity to be the Bearcats' next head football coach when Tjeerdsma decided to step away to spend more time with his family.
"You feel so bad that he never got a chance to lead this team on the field," Tjeerdsma said. "That's what we all work for. I know he was so excited for the first game to actually be the guy. He just never got there."
It's hard to find a lesson in what happened to Bostwick on Sunday and how it affects his family, friends, the team and all the Bearcat fans who got to know him.
Bostwick was loyal. Instead of looking for a head coaching job elsewhere, he stuck with Tjeerdsma for 17 years.
Bostwick was successful. His defenses were consistently the best in the MIAA. Six players were named MIAA defensive players of the year under Bostwick.
Bostwick was passionate. He had an enthusiasm for everything he did.
"What comes to mind with Scott are loyalty, passion and dedication," Baker said. "That's something that people throw around a lot in the athletics realm. But I'm not sure I've ever been around a coach or player who lived it every day like Scott Bostwick did. He was loyal and passionate about his family, about his friends, about his players and about the Bearcats.
"From the day I met him through the past six months we worked together, what I take away from it more than anything else was his passion."
If ever a person deserved to be a head coach of team, it was Bostwick for Northwest.
The Bearcats meant everything to him. He was the person behind the annual golf tournament that raised money for the football program.
The 17th annual Shawna Zeck Memorial Tournament, which is scheduled for June 17 at Mozingo Golf Course, was much more to Bostwick than raising money. It was about family.
"Seeing the old guys come back and listen to all the old stories and seeing guys you haven't seen in a while is absolutely the best part of the deal," Bostwick said in late June.
The golf tournament was always a perfect way to showcase Bostwick's personality. He loved people and having a good time.
When you think about Bostwick, you can't help but get an image of a man smiling and excited about whatever he's doing at the moment.
"Scott didn't have many enemies," Tjeerdsma said. "He was one of those guys that everybody liked. You couldn't help but like him because he had a great attitude. He had just a great outlook on life. He was a guy who enjoyed life to the fullest."
Naturally, when someone as young as Bostwick is taken away so unexpectedly it comes as a devastating shock. It's impossible to comprehend. It doesn't make sense.
Unfortunately, it happens and you must somehow find a way to cope. Fortunately, Bostwick leaves behind so many good memories that you can somehow smile a little through the tears.
"We are mourning the loss of our friend and our coach," Baker said, "but we are also remembering what he meant to each of us.
"As we met with the family, the coaches and the players, we would cry, but we also would laugh as we remembered the good times we had with Scott and what he had done for all of us.
"The mood is one of mourning, but also one celebrating the laugh Scott had and taught all of us during his time here."
Obviously, Sunday was a difficult day for Tjeerdsma. Tjeerdsma would have been happy for Scott if he had decided to leave Northwest for a head coaching job at another school.
The fact that Bostwick decided to always stand by Tjeerdsma all these years meant everything and words alone can't possibly describe the feeling.
"He's a guy who was with me for 17 years," Tjeerdsma said. "He was so loyal. He was a guy who bought into everything here. He really believed in Northwest and family and this community. He was all those things we talked about."
Somehow, some way, Northwest will get through this tragedy and move on. The strong foundation helps immensely.
"We met as a team and to see the hurting and yet the bonding and the love the guys had for each other, it's neat to be around a family," Tjeerdsma said. "We are fortunate to have that kind of family attitude and atmosphere when you have tough times.
"I've said it a lot of times that's why the Bearcats, in the last couple of years, have won a lot of games because they believe in each other.
"No matter how tough things are, they always seem to find something good out of it. That's what will happen this time, too."
1961-2011 Scott Bostwick, 49, of Maryville, Mo., died Sunday, June 5, 2011, at St. Francis Hospital in Maryville. Scott was born June 22, 1961, in Omaha, Neb., to Robert Bostwick and June Staab Bostwick Blair. He was a 1979 graduate of Omaha North High School and he received his bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan, where he was a four-year letter winner and was inducted into the University's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. He was united in marriage to Susan Marie Duckworth, December 30, 1988, in Omaha. They have two children, Leah and Eric. Scott was named the 18th head football coach at Northwest Missouri State University in December 2010. Prior to that, he had been the football team's defensive coordinator since 1994. As Northwest's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, he was the 2007 American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and was part of a coaching staff that won 12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships, three NCAA national championships and led the Bearcats to seven title game appearances in the last 13 seasons. In addition, Scott coached 20 defensive players who combined to appear on numerous All-America teams, and he coached 54 Bearcats who combined to earn 83 All-MIAA honors. Throughout his years as a coach, Scott made a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of student-athletes, not only as a coach, but also as a mentor and a friend. Scott also was defensive coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan from 1986 to 1990 and at Western Washington University from 1990 to 1994. He was a member of the St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic Church and the Elk's Lodge, of Maryville; and the AFCA. Scott is survived by his wife, Sue, and children, Leah and Eric, of the home. He is also survived by his parents: June Blair and Robert Bostwick, both of Omaha; brothers: Todd (Ginger) Bostwick, Omaha; Brent Bostwick, Omaha and Chad (Kelly) Bostwick, Warrensburg, Mo.; sisters: Robin (George) Weingaertner, Omaha; Julie (Jon) Ish, Omaha; Debra (Tom) Clark, Omaha; and Leslie (Matt) Patterson, Omaha; step-father: Gary Blair, Omaha; step-brothers: Jon Blair, Maxwell Blair, Marlon Blair and Magdeil Blair, all of Omaha; and a step-sister: Lemmy Wright, Omaha. A Celebration of Life will be 11 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2011, at Bearcat Stadium where the family invites the public to embrace a game-day atmosphere. A public viewing will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts with a memorial service to follow at 7 p.m. in the Mary Linn Auditorium. The family invites the public to a tailgate gathering following the Celebration of Life service. Private interment will be at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the Leah and Eric Bostwick Education Fund in care of Nodaway Valley Bank. Price Funeral Home, (www.pricefuneralhomemaryville.com.), Maryville, Missouri.
Northwest Missouri State head football coach Scott Bostwick, 49, died this morning from an apparent heart attack, the university has announced. Bostwick was the top assistant at Western Washington University for four seasons in the early 1990s.
Bostwick was mowing his yard when the heart attack occurred, according to multiple Northwest sources. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Bostwick, a longtime defensive coordinator at the school, replaced Mel Tjeerdsma when the legendary coach retired earlier this year.
"We're deeply saddened at the loss. He was a great friend, a loving husband and great father," said Wren Baker, Northwest athletic director. "We appreciated his loyalty to Northwest, and our prayers are with his family."
Bostwick is survived by his wife, Sue, and their two children, Eric and Leah.
Bostwick was named the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007. He joined Tjeerdsma's coaching staff in 1994, helping the Bearcats win three national titles and 12 MIAA championships.
Bostwick played football for four years at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln and was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2006.
Northwest mourning death of football coach
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University is deeply saddened to report that head football coach Scott Bostwick died late Sunday morning of an apparent heart attack while he was mowing the lawn at his Maryville home.
Bostwick, 49, was named Northwest's 18th head football coach in December. Prior to that, he served as the team's defensive coordinator since arriving at Northwest in 1994. During that span, the Bearcats won 12 MIAA championships and three NCAA Division II championships in 1998, 1999 and 2009, appearing in the title game seven times.
The 2007 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, Bostwick continuously produced one of the top defenses in the nation. The Bearcats led the MIAA in scoring defense in each of the last five seasons and in total defense in two of the last three.
The Bearcats have finished in the top 10 nationally in stopping the run three times in the last five years, including 2006 when the team set a program record by allowing just 75 rushing yards per game. Only eight individuals have posted 100 yards rushing against Northwest in the last 77 games dating back to 2004.
Along with team success has come numerous individual accolades for Northwest defenders. Bostwick coached 20 defensive players who combined to appear on numerous All-America teams. Six Bearcats were named MIAA Defensive Player of the Year under Bostwick.
Bostwick mentored five first-team All-MIAA selections in 2010, the highest number in one season under his regime. He had four first-teamers three other times since 2005. Bostwick coached 54 Bearcats who combined to earn 83 All-MIAA honors.
Prior to joining the staff at Northwest, Bostwick spent four years at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. He served as defensive coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan, his alma mater, from 1986-1990.
Bostwick earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan, where he was a four-year letterwinner and was named all-conference and all-district on the gridiron. He was inducted into that university's Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2006 and is the program's third-leading tackler.
Bostwick is survived by his wife, Sue, and two children, Leah and Eric.
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