February 19, 2008
MARQUETTE, Mich. – Bernie Anderson, the head football coach at Northern Michigan University, announces the hiring of Randy Awrey as the defensive coordinator. He will also coach the defensive secondary. Awrey has coached football for 28 seasons which includes 18 as a head coach.
“We want to become one of the best football teams in the GLIAC,” said Anderson. “To help us achieve that we have added to the program one of the best football coaches in the conference.”
Awrey was the head football coach at Saginaw Valley State University for nine seasons (1999-07) where he led the Cardinals to a 76-27 overall record (.738) and a 71-20 (.780) GLIAC record. He left SVSU as the all-time winningest coach in school history. His overall collegiate record as a head coach is 124-68-1. Awrey led the Cardinals to GLIAC titles in 2000 and 2003. He led SVSU to five appearances in the NCAA II playoffs. Awrey was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2003.
Awrey’s players have been named All-Americans three times in his career. Thirteen former SVSU players are currently playing professional football.
“Our program just got better with Randy Awrey joining our staff,” said Anderson. “Success follows him. You need to play defense in this conference and he will make us a better defensive team.”
His 2007 SVSU squad was second in the GLIAC in scoring defense (20.6 avg) and third in total defense (364.3 yds/g).
The Cardinals finished the 2005 season at 11-2 overall and were ranked as high as fourth in NCAA II at the end of the regular season. SVSU finished second in the GLIAC with a 9-1 record. The Cardinals advanced to the NCAA II playoffs and were quarterfinalist with wins in the playoffs over Northwood and Nebraska-Omaha. His 2003 squad set a new SVSU record with 12 wins (12-1) and was ranked as the top team in NCAA II at the end of the regular season.
“I am thrilled to be back at NMU coaching for the Wildcats. I would like to thank President Les Wong, Athletic Director Ken Godfrey and Head Football Coach Bernie Anderson for this great opportunity. They are wonderful people and I am looking forward to working with them,” said Awrey. “I plan on doing everything I can to assist Coach Anderson to continue his quality football program. He has a great staff and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. I am looking forward to getting to know all the student-athletes and do all that I can do to help them in a quest for a championship for NMU.”
Awrey’s other head coaching stops have been at Lakeland College in Wisconsin from 1994-98 and at Kentucky Wesleyan College from 1990-93.
He compiled a 35-14-1 record at Lakeland. Awrey’s .720 winning percentage is the highest in school history. He was a three-time conference Coach of the Year selection while at Lakeland and led the Muskies to back-to-back conference titles.
At Kentucky Wesleyan (13-27), Awrey posted the school’s first winning season and best record since 1928 with a 7-3 slate in 1993.
Awrey was the defensive coordinator at St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) from 1986-89. He guided the Saints’ defense to the top of the ECAC defensive standings in each of his four years. Awrey was also the head track and field coach at St. Lawrence as he earned ECAC and New York State Coach of the Year honors. He led his team to four consecutive conference titles. The Saints were NCAA III national runners-up in 1986 and 1987.
His other coaching stops have been at Michigan Tech (1982-85) as the head track and field and assistant football coach, NMU (1980-81) as a graduate assistant football coach and at Westwood High School (1979) as an assistant football coach.
Awrey was a four-year starter at NMU, playing defensive back as a freshman before switching to offense as a running back. He was named the MVP in the 1975 national championship game when the ‘Cats claimed the national title. Awrey led the ‘Cats to two other appearances in the playoffs. He was inducted into the NMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Awrey, a native of Iron Mountain, is a graduate of NMU with two bachelor of science degrees, in criminal justice (1978) and a teaching certification (1981 in physical education). He also has a master’s degree from NMU in educational administration (1986).
Awrey and his wife, Connie, have four children (Jennifer, Bob, Anthony and Nick). His son, Nick, has committed to attend NMU and play football for the ‘Cats.
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