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Frosty Westering


Note: Frosty Westering, the iconic Pacific Lutheran University head football coach whose four national championships tell only a small part in the story of his remarkable coaching legacy, died on April 12, 2013. He was 85 years old.

Former Pacific Lutheran University football head coach Frosty Westering is a member of a select fraternity: college football coaches who have won at least 300 games. This group--a Who's Who of collegiate football--includes Eddie Robinson, John Gagliardi, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Charles "Pop" Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. Westering picked up his 300th career victory in the second game of the 2003 season, adding to his legacy. Westering compiled an incredible 305-96-7 overall record (.756 winning percentage) in 40 seasons as a college coach.

Westering's long and storied career, which included a 32-year tenure of winning teams at Pacific Lutheran, was marked by continued excellence, leading to his January 1995 induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame.

Westering, born on Dec. 5, 1927, came to PLU in 1972 after successful coaching stops at Parsons College (Iowa) and Lea College (Minnesota). After Westering's arrival at PLU, excellence was 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. His overall record at Pacific Lutheran was a staggering 261-70-5 (.784 winning percentage), and no PLU team under his guidance suffered a losing season. Westering coached 26 NAIA and NCAA First Team All-Americans, and with him at the helm Pacific Lutheran appeared in 15 NAIA Division II national playoffs from 1979-97. In addition, his teams advanced to the Division III playoffs in four of PLU's six years as an NCAA member (through the 2003 season). In the decade of the 90s, PLU 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, was only a by-product of Westering's overall life philosophy. He emphasized a double-win theme: victory on the scoreboard and the satisfaction of playing to one's personal potential. Westering, a football letter-winner at both Northwestern and Nebraska-Omaha and a Marine drill instructor, has written a book, Make The Big Time Where You Are, which deals with his double-win philosophy.

Pacific Lutheran football players also portrayed excellence in the classroom and in the community, where they are role models for hundreds of youth in the Parkland area through their personal involvement at several Tacoma area schools. They annually donated approximately 2,000 hours at the schools.

A full professor with a doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, Westering specializes in sports motivation and sports psychology and is in high demand as a speaker at regional and national gatherings. Westering is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He and his wife, Donna, have five children and 13 grandchildren.


  • American Football Coaches Association 1999 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year
  • Football Gazette 1999 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year
  • 2000 Hula Bowl Coaching Staff
  • Chevrolet and Shutt Sports 1999 Coach of the Year
  • 1999-2000 Lutheran Brotherhood Lutheran College Coach of the Year
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Athletes for a Better World Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Led PLU to NCAA Division III national championship in 1999
  • Member of NAIA Hall of Fame
  • NAIA National College Football Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1993
  • Winningest coach in NAIA history with 256 career wins
  • Directed Lutes to seven NAIA Division II championship games
  • Won NAIA national championships in 1980, 1987 and 1993
  • PLU's all-time winningest football coach with 261 victories
  • Conference Coach of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1993 and 1998
  • Northwest Small-College Coach of the Year in 1979, 1980, 1983, 1993 and 1998
  • Coached 26 NAIA and NCAA First Team All-Americans
  • Member of Iowa Collegiate Coaching Hall of Fame
  • Two-time Tacoma News Tribune Man of the Year in Sports
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer Publisher's Award recipient in 2000
  • Member Puget Sound Athletic Hall of Fame (inducted in 2004)
  • Author of book, Make The Big Time Where You Are


      1952-56 . . . . . . . . Coach at Elkader (IA) High School, 26-8-1
      1956-60 . . . . . . . . Coach at Fairfield (IA) High School, 21-13-2
      1960-61 . . . . . . . . Athletic Director at Parsons College (IA)
      1962-64 . . . . . . . . Athletic Director/Coach at Parsons College, 15-4-0
      1964-66 . . . . . . . . Graduate School
      1966-72 . . . . . . . . Athletic Director/Coach at Lea College (MN), 29-22-2
      1972-2003 . . . . . . Coach at Pacific Lutheran University, 261-70-5  


1999 NCAA Division III National Champions

1993, 1987,1980 NAIA Division II National Champions

1994, 1991, 1985, 1983
NAIA Division II National Runner Up

1998, 2000, 2001 NCAA Division III Playoffs

NAIA Division II Playoffs: 1979, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996

Coaches' Comments

Overall Record

300 Win Coaches