Northern Michigan announces football head coach finalists

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Director of Athletics Forrest Karr announced the five finalists for the Northern Michigan University football head coaching position Monday afternoon.

The finalists will be in Marquette for on-campus interviews Tuesday, Dec. 6 through Monday, Dec. 12.

During their time at Northern Michigan, the finalists will meet with various key interest groups, including the search committee, the football advisory committee and the athletic council. They will also meet with Northern Michigan University President Fritz Erickson and other campus members.

Each finalist will attend a community and media forum from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Izzo-Mariucci Academic Center (located in the link between the PEIF and the Berry Events Center).

The finalists are listed below in alphabetical order. The date each will interview is listed in parenthesis after his name.

Kyle Nystrom (Dec. 12)
Ferris State University, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Inside Linebackers Coach

Nystrom joined the Ferris State University staff in 2015 after a five-year stint at Central Michigan University. In 2015, he helped Ferris State win its second-straight GLIAC Championship and its first NCAA playoff game in 19 years. This season, the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA playoff semifinals with an upset of previously unbeaten Grand Valley State. In 2015, his final season in Mount Pleasant, Mich., Nystrom served as Central Michigan’s interim head coach.

Nystrom has also held coaching positions at Fort Hays State University, North Dakota State University, DePauw University, Texas Christian University, Western Michigan University and Northern Michigan University.

Nick Postma (Dec. 8)
Grand Valley State University, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs Coach, Recruiting Coordinator

Postma has been on the Grand Valley State University staff since 2010, first serving as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator (2010-2013). During his time in Allendale, Mich., the Lakers have posted an overall record of 58-18 and reached the NCAA playoff semifinals twice. Seven of Postma’s defensive backs were recognized as all-GLIAC performers.

Postma has also coached at Lake Erie College, Gannon University and MacMurray College.

Shane Richardson (Dec. 7)
University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach

Richardson took over as the Braves’ head coach after eight seasons on the football staff. He orchestrated a turnaround that saw the University of North Carolina at Pembroke go from 2-8 in 2014, his first year as head coach, to 10-2 this season. The Braves also won their first playoff game in program history, downing No. 19 Valdosta State University, 24-21, on the road. That victory sealed the team’s first 10-win season.

Richardson has also held coaching positions at North Dakota State University, Jamestown College and Northern Michigan University.

Mark Staten (Dec. 6)
Michigan State University, Offensive Line Coach

Staten has been on the Michigan State University football staff for the past 10 seasons, serving as recruiting coordinator (2006-2011), tackles/tight ends coach (2006-2011) and offensive line coach (2011-present). During his time in East Lansing, Mich., the Spartans have captured three Big Ten championships and appeared in nine Bowl games, winning four of them. In 2015, four of his offensive linemen were named to all-Big Ten teams.

Staten has also coached at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and Miami University (Ohio).

Jason Woodman (Dec. 9)
Fairmont State University, Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach

Woodman has led the Fighting Falcons to historic success during his four seasons in Fairmont, W. Va. In 2015 and 2016, he directed them to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 15 years. This season, Fairmont State University set a school record with a 10-1 regular-season record and earned its first NCAA playoff berth. Woodman has coached five All-Americans and guided three different players to five school records.

Woodman has also held coaching positions at Bowie State University, Concord University, University of California Pennsylvania, Florida State University and Louisiana State University.


A total of 81 candidates applied for the position. Of that group, the search committee selected 15 for video interviews after meeting on Nov. 28 and Nov. 30. The search committee then met on Dec. 3 to discuss the video interviews and determine who would move onto the next round.

Listed below are the search committee members:

Search Committee Advisor

Steve Mariucci – sportscaster / former NFL head coach / former All-American NMU football student-athlete

Search Committee

Bridget Berube – NMU associate AD for sports administration / senior woman administrator

Chris Greer – NMU assistant vice president / dean of students

Scott Herioux – chief financial officer for the Hannahville Indian Community and Island Resort & Casino / former Academic All-American NMU football student-athlete

Zach Houghton – NMU head strength and conditioning coach / former Wayne State football student-athlete

Jess Jones – NMU development officer

Forrest Karr – NMU director of athletics

Jake Mayon – NMU football student-athlete (running back)

Kelly Reed – advisor at VAST insurance and risk management / former NMU football student-athlete

Julie Rochester – NMU professor, athletic training / faculty athletics representative

Bob Stefanski – venture capitalist / former general counsel / former Academic All-American NMU football student-athlete

Josh Thompson – NMU professor, mathematics / former Wofford College football student-athlete

Alex Tiseo – NMU assistant AD for compliance / former Michigan Tech football student-athlete

Tom Wender – former Iron Mountain head football coach / former NMU assistant football coach

Darryl Williams – NMU football student-athlete (linebacker)

Jerry Woods – design team manager / former youth football coach / former NFL player / former All-American NMU football student-athlete