Letter to ‘Buck’ Nystrom

Carl “Buck” Nystrom

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, President, and Administration of Northern Michigan University, I thank you for your many years of service to Northern Michigan University and the hundreds of student-athletes at NMU and the other schools where you’ve coached who you’ve developed as football players and as young adults for over six decades.

Your boundless energy and drive to build a values-based foundation for young people both on and off of the playing field have resulted in countless wins, bowl games, playoff victories, conference championships, and national championships. More importantly, you have also built a legacy with an impact that continues to be passed on to future generations of students, football players, teams, families, schools, and communities.

That foundation you forged has instilled the values of Effort, Courage, Pride, Enthusiasm, and Discipline into thousands of young people over 60 years of teaching and motivating. That foundation is transmitted through the people you have touched, some of whom continue in your coaching footsteps on youth football fields, college campuses, and in professional sports; through others who are leaders and professionals in businesses large and small; and through still others who serve in the public sector as police, firefighters, military, and elected officials. That foundation continues to strengthen people, teams, and communities every day, and as a result, your legacy at Northern Michigan University and far beyond will endure forever.

As your quarterback during the great 1987 football season, it is a special honor for me to present this tribute to your lifetime of remarkable achievement and service to others. All football Wildcats, and especially the 1975 National Championship Team, thank you for your Effort, Courage, Pride, Enthusiasm, and Discipline, which you yourself have displayed in touching so many lives at Northern Michigan University.

You are more than a coach. You are a teacher, a mentor, and a living legend. Thank you, Coach Buck.


Rick Popp, Vice Chair, NMU Board of Trustees

September 20, 2013