MARQUETTE, Mich. - Bernie Anderson, the head football coach at Northern Michigan University, announces the addition of four new coaches to his staff for fall. The Wildcats were in need of a new offensive coordinator, offensive line, quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. Full-time coaches Jeff Duvendeck (offensive coordinator/offensive line) and Dan Mettlach (quarterbacks and wide receivers) departed at the conclusion of spring practice.
The ‘Cats introduce Chris Ostrowsky (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) and Marty Higgins (wide receivers) to the offensive side of the ball. Former NMU player Rob Boss who took the spring season off to play in the Arena Football League (AFL) for the Chicago Rush will direct the offensive line. Mark Paun is the new face on the defensive side of the ball where he will be the defensive line coach.
Ostrowsky brings 15 years of coaching experience to NMU. His most recent position was at NCAA Division I Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. for three seasons (2007-09). With the Huskies he was the quarterbacks coach, recruiting coordinator and passing game coordinator. He led freshmen quarterback Matt Carroll to a 65 percent pass completion ratio which was third highest in school history (2009).
Before Northeastern, Ostrowsky was the assistant head football coach at NCAA Division III Widener University in Chester, Pa. from 2005-07. He was the offensive coordinator in 2005 where his offense established 27 new school records. His squads were back-to-back South Atlantic ECAC Bowl Champions 2005-06. Before Widener he had a similar position at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. from 2002-04.
From 1997-01 Ostrowsky was the head football coach at East Side High School in Newark, N.J. He was named Newark Star Ledger High School Coach of the Year 1998. Ostrowsky turned around a losing program which had lost 18 straight games before his first game of the 1998 season. As a player Ostrowsky prepped at Roselle Park High School playing quarterback which led him to Jersey City State College. He received his bachelor of arts degree in history in 1993.
Other accomplishments for Ostrowsky include the director of the Chris Ostrowsky Quarterback/Receiver Camp. In 2006 he was the guest speaker at the Nike Coach of the Year Football Clinic (Allentown, Pa.).
“We are very fortunate to have Chris with us and his experience at every level. He brings in a very modern style offense and wide open with multiple formations. His knowledge at the quarterback position is what fits our needs,” said Anderson.
Added to the staff is Higgins with his 12 years of coaching experience. From 1987-90 he was the wide receivers coach at Western Michigan University. With the Broncos, Higgins worked with and developed the quarterbacks and receivers in a one-back offense scheme. The Broncos led the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in passing in his three seasons. In 1988 WMU was Mid-American Conference champions which led to a bid to play in the California Bowl against Fresno State. He coached six all-conference receivers as two of them went on to play in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
From 1985-87 he held the same position at Eastern Illinois University. In 1986 his squad made it to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs with a regular season record of 11-2.
Higgins was the head football coach at the SR-R High School in Sioux Rapids, Iowa from 1982-85. There he guided the football program to its first winning season in seven years; the school had an 18-game losing streak before he took over. As a player Higgins lettered four times at South Dakota State University (1978-82). He was a two-year starter at quarterback earning the 1980 Beef Bowl MVP. Higgins was the ABC Chevrolet Player of the Game vs. North Dakota. He was the first player in 20 years to lead the North Central Conference (NCC) in total offense, passing and scoring. He attended Ankeny High School (1976-78) where he was a four-time state qualifier in wrestling.
“Marty Higgins had a great playing career and brings seven years of NCAA Division I experience. He is very enthusiastic and is ready to get back into coaching,” said Anderson.
Boss enters his first season as a full-time coach on the NMU staff after spending the 2009 season as a student-assistant. He spent the last season coaching the defensive line.
Boss was a four-year letter winner (2002-05) at NMU playing both on the offensive and defensive lines. Named NMU defensive linemen of the year and honorable mention all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as a junior in 2004, while recording 64 tackles. Boss was voted second–team all-GLIAC as an offensive lineman his senior year (2005) and was a three-time GLIAC all-academic team selection.
This past spring Boss went back the AFL’S Chicago Rush. Boss played in 13 games and had 276 all-purpose yards with 15 touchdowns. Before his departure he led the Rush in rushing with 119 yards and 10 touchdowns. Boss also had 15 catches for 157 yards and five touchdowns. He was named the Arena Football League’s Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the team’s 55-42 win over Orlando earlier in the season. Boss caught four passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for nine yards and a TD on six carries.
Boss, a 2002 graduate of Charlevoix High School, participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. As a senior, he was named honorable mention all-state in football and all-conference in basketball and baseball.
“It is always great to have the ability to hire qualified NMU alumni who has played the game. He has solid character as a coach and he will get the most out of his players,” said Anderson.
The last member of the Wildcat staff is Paun, who recently finished up his playing career at Miami University. With the RedHawks, Paun was a two-time Iron Man award winner. He finished his career with 34 tackles. Paun will be working with the defensive line.
“Mark has playing experience at the NCAA Division I level. This is a great opportunity for him to start his coaching career,” said Anderson.
The ‘Cats open up fall camp Wednesday, August 11 with its first game on the road against Minnesota State-Mankato (Sept. 2) with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
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Release by Michael Levy
Sports Information Director