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NMU’s good, old days forgotten

December 1, 2011 - Burt Angeli
Let’s assume Iron Mountain’s Randy Awrey resigned from Northern Michigan University’s football coaching staff when told that offensive coordinator Chris Ostrowsky would be named head coach.

NMU President Les Wong said “Randy had some other thoughts and plans. It didn’t seem to match up with the direction we wanted to go.”

Awrey, with a wealth of coaching experience, starred for NMU’s 1975 national championship team. Those were the days when football ruled NMU’s campus from top to bottom. With Awrey reportedly bypassed for the head coaching hire, I’m getting the impression NMU officials want to steer clear from that ever happening again.

This isn’t the first time NMU went in a different direction with a head coaching opening. Iron River’s Jan Quarless — another product of the NMU days of Gil Canale, Gil Krueger and other legendary figures — once interviewed for the Wildcats head coaching position. Quarless, like Awrey, owned a resume worthy of the job.

I thought Quarless, during a public interview session, lost the position when talking of those days when NMU football was king on campus. A gasp may have been heard from NMU officials when Quarless mentioned the football team’s stronghold on the school.

In a nutshell, men like Awrey and Quarless played when NMU football dominated. Could be all wet but I just get the feeling NMU wants to avoid that happening again.



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