Column: Here’s an update on Frosty Westering and his sports career

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 10, 2003

Once again its time to provide the latest information about the outstanding record compiled by a football coach who lived in Albert Lea for six years. During those six years Forrest &uot;Frosty&uot; Westering was the head coach of the Lea College Lancers. Then, in 1972, he and his family moved to Tacoma, Wash., where he became the head football coach at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). The nickname for this college team, incidentally, is the &uot;Lutes.&uot;

Now, with the cooperation of PLU’s sports information director, Nick Dawson, here’s the update on Frosty’s latest football coaching season. Nick’s report says:

&uot;Pacific Lutheran head coach Frosty Westering completed his 39th season of college coaching on Saturday (Nov. 16) with a 299-93-7 overall record, including a 255-67-5 mark in 31 seasons at Pacific Lutheran. Westering needs just one more win to become the tenth coach in college football history to reach the historic 300-win plateau. Westering’s long and storied career led to his January 1995 induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Westering, who turned 75 in December, came to PLU in 1972 after successful coaching stops at Parsons College (Iowa) and Lea College (Minnesota). Since Westering’s arrival at PLU, excellence has been the trademark of EMAL (“Every Man A Lute”) football. In addition to winning the 1999 NCAA Division III championship, which it did by becoming the first team to win five straight road games, Pacific Lutheran won NAIA Division II national titles in 1980, 1987 and 1993 and finished as national runner-up in 1983, 1985, 1991 and 1994. Westering has coached 24 NAIA and NCAA First Team All-Americans, and with him at the helm Pacific Lutheran has appeared in national postseason play 19 times since 1979. In 1998, Westering led PLU into the national playoffs in the school’s first year of NCAA Division III membership, and the Lutes have reached the Division III playoffs for four straight seasons. In the decade of the 90s, Pacific Lutheran compiled an impressive 93-19-2 record (.825 winning percentage), ranking in the top 20 among gridiron programs at all collegiate levels. Excellence on the football field, however, is only a by-product of Westering’s overall life philosophy. He emphasizes a double-win theme: the satisfaction of playing to one’s personal potential and achieving victory on the scoreboard. Westering, a football letter-winner at both Northwestern and Nebraska-Omaha and a Marine (Corps) drill instructor, has written a book, ‘Make The Big Time Where You Are,’ which deals with his double-win philosophy.&uot;

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The Lutes ended their 2002 season on Nov. 16 with a 46-0 win over the University of Puget Sound, also located in Tacoma. According to Dawson’s report, PLU finished last fall’s football season with five wins and four losses, and recorded its 34th winning season. Thus, PLU currently ranks fifth on the all-time list of consecutive winning seasons in college football. Prior to this season, the worst record by a PLU team coached by Frosty Westering was 6-4 in 1976.

Here’s one more PLU sports fact supplied by Dawson. &uot;Including regular season and playoff games, Pacific Lutheran has scored points in 247 consecutive games (win or lose) covering 23 years. The last time the Lutes failed to score was in 1979 when they dropped a 9-0 decision at Findlay, Ohio, in the NAIA national playoffs.&uot;

The nation’s top record for winning college football coaches is the 408 victories held by Eddie Robinson of Louisiana’s Grambling University. And here in Minnesota there’s a real contender for this honor. His name is John Gagliardi, who has been the football coach at St. John’s University in Collegeville. At the end of the 2002 season Gagliardi attained the 400-victory mark.

Anyway, Frosty Westering, the coach of what Sports Illustrated declared in the Aug. 4, 2000, issue was &uot;The Nicest Team in Football,&uot; needs just one more win with the Lutes of PLU to attain the 300 victory mark.

Tribune feature writer Ed Shannon’s column appears Fridays in the Tribune.