NMU going in right direction making changes in coaching

We like what we are seeing coming out of the athletic department at Northern Michigan University with coaching changes being made. Over the past several years, we have to admit that it appeared to us that no one at Northern seemed to care about win/loss records or how successful the athletic programs were at NMU.

We realize it’s impossible to always have successful, winning teams.  We also realize that if you don’t have winning teams with the existing coaching staff that you will need to make changes to send the programs in a different direction.

We realize that in many cases the coaches are good people doing the best job they can, but they are just not able to win for one reason or another.

The University of Michigan football team is a perfect example of the effect that a coaching change can make. In his first year, Jim Harbaugh took a terrible football team and turned them into a real competitor. This happened because of his attention to detail and his coaching style.

He did not have the benefit of being able to recruit new players his first year, but he took a program with a 5-7 record in 2014 to a team with a 10-3 record in 2015. This year their record is 9-1 overall.

They are currently ranked No. 4 in the country in the Associated Press top 25 and they are ranked No. 3 in the country in the playoff rankings. Jim Harbaugh is a winner and now with him as coach for only two years, U of M football is back to being respected and feared as one of the best teams in college football.

We realize that NMU does not have the money to pay the high dollars that Jim Harbaugh received, but we believe they can find coaches that are moving up the ladder and may only spend three to five years here before moving on. In the mean time, though, they could bring a winning program to NMU.  It seems to us that NMU probably has one of the best venues for Division II football in the country.  This should be a big plus in recruiting a new football coach during the upcoming national search.

When you look back at our womens’ volleyball program, we had names like Jim Moore and Mark Rosen that led our teams to national championships in the past. Both of these coaches went on to coach Division I schools.

We believe that is a good thing, to have young, ambitious coaches coming to NMU with aspirations of moving on to bigger and better things after building a successful program at NMU. We believe that there are more Jim Moores and Mark Rosens out there that can be part of future NMU volleyball teams.

It appears that NMU is making a statement that mediocrity is no longer acceptable. This is very good news for all NMU sports fans.

The fans have been patient and they should be rewarded with coaching changes that will give them a reason to be optimistic. We hope that all sports at NMU are reviewed with the same criteria and more changes are made where necessary to get mediocre teams back to being a well-respected winning program.

Another good example of what a difference a good coach can make is evident in the NMU Nordic ski teams. Sten Fjeldheim has been named coach of the year numerous times.

His teams are always listed as one of the top teams in the country.  Nordic Skiing, by most people, is not considered a major sport so it does not get the proper recognition at NMU. Sten, along with his coaching staff, is recognized as one of the best programs in the country.  Strong coaching does matter and Sten and his staff are proof of how great coaching brings winning results.

We look forward to an aggressive, successful search for current and future open positions in NMU athletics.

NMU sports fans appear to have a reason to be optimistic.