The Year of the Timberwolf: Northwood University Football Celebrates 50 Years

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2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the program.
Jack Finn

Jack Finn

Pat Riepma

Pat Riepma

Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan

August 31, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – The 2012 football season is a special one at Northwood University. It marks the 50th anniversary of the program. Over the years, the Timberwolves have become a competitive and well-recognized program. Northwood University is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and a Division II school.

In the past 50 years, the Timberwolves have been led by seven coaches resulting in 229 wins. For 18 years (1969-86), Coach Jack Finn led the team to 87 victories and three GLIAC Championship titles. In 2006, Finn was inducted into the first class of Northwood University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Pat Riepma coached Northwood for 15 years (1993-2007) and has the most wins in school history at 90 wins. Under his leadership, the Timberwolves won another three GLIAC Championships. In 2000, Riepma also accepted the role as athletic director, a position which he still holds today.

Northwood’s current coach is Mike Sullivan who is now entering his fifth year as head coach. He previously was the associate coach under Riepma for six seasons and an offensive line coach. Sullivan came to Northwood after being the head coach and athletic director for Pinconning High School in 1999. Prior to that he was an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), helping with offensive line and tight ends from 1995-1999. During his time coaching at SVSU, Sullivan was also the recruiting coordinator and weight-training co-coordinator.

The upcoming season sees the return of 39 letter-winning players and 22 starters. This year’s recruiting class is 27 players strong. The team will continue to run the “woodbone” offense and the defensive unit will see the return of nine starters. Special teams will also see the return of key players.

For the first time since 2003, Northwood will be hosting an evening game at Midland Community Stadium on Friday, August 31, at 7 p.m. against Quincy University, IL, in a non-conference game. Northwood’s homecoming game will be against SVSU on Saturday, October 6, at Hantz Stadium─kickoff is at 12 p.m. (noon).

For more information about the Northwood University football program, visit www.gonorthwood.com or contact Travis McCurdy, sports information director for Northwood Athletics, at 989.837.4239 or mccurdy@northwood.edu.

ABOUT NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.