Bearcat Nation remembers football coach Scott Bostwick at Celebration of Life service

MARYVILLE, Missouri - They called it a "Celebration of a Big Life".

Colleagues said Northwest Missouri State football coach Scott Bostwick was devoted to family, friends and football, in that order. He was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Northwest for 17 years. The university named him head coach in December. But he never got to coach a game. He died on Sunday.

Bob Stitt, head football coach at Colorado School of Mines, took frequent recruiting trips with Bostwick. He said his friend was excited about the new job.

"I'd never seen him more happy. He was so excited to be a head coach, keep the tradition going here at Northwest."

Among others who spoke were former head coach Mel Tjeerdsma -- who retired in December, making way for Bostwick to take over the head coaching job -- and University of Central Missouri head coach Jim Svoboda, who as Tjeerdsma's offensive coordinator encouraged him to hire Bostwick in 1994.

The three began their Bearcat careers in Maryville together in 1994 and transformed a program that went winless in their first year to a perennial Division II powerhouse, winning 12 conference titles and three national championships.

Svoboda said Bostwick had something to teach everyone.

"If you treat a man as he could be, he will become what he can be," Svoboda said. "He got more out of guys than anybody I know."

Tjeerdsma said he hired Bostwick because of his passion.

"One of my friends in Texas would describe him as, 'Every day is a holiday and every meal is a picnic.' That's the way Scott Bostwick was," Tjeerdsma said.

Afterwards the school had tailgating and a picnic for fans. It was a chance to say thank you and share memories.

"He was an assistant for a long time and kind of what he was looking for, and I think he was very anxious to step into that role," NWMSU alumnus Kevin Kimmer said.

Northwest's tennis coach Mark Rosewell said he knew Bostwick very well. He said Bostwick definitely earned the head coaching job.

"He never had a bad day," Rosewell said. "He was always 'up', very consistent. He was a guy you wanted to be around all the time."
Bostwick touched many lives, and although he never got the chance to lead his team, he made a lasting mark.

Bostwick died on Sunday of an apparent heart attack while mowing the lawn at his Maryville home.

He leaves a wife, son and a daughter, plus his parents and several brothers and sisters.

Below is a video of Thursday's Celebration of Life service.

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Video streaming by Ustream

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