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      Coach speaks at Governor's Prayer Breakfast

      The most successful college football coach in Missouri says his faith is responsible for his success.

      Coach Mel Tjeerdsma last week announced his retirement as coach of the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats.

      Wednesday morning he gave the keynote speech at the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast.

      In 17 seasons at the helm in Maryville, Tjeerdsma won three small college national titles and his teams were runners up in other title games.

      Following his remarks, he told reporters he once aspired to become a Division One coach, but does not envy the situation of someone like Gary Pinkel.

      "I served on the board of trustees and was president of the American Football Coaches Association back in 2006," says Tjeerdsma. "So I know a lot of those Division One coaches and I know they get paid a lot of money. But after being around awhile, I think they earn it. They are under a tremendous amount of pressure."

      Hundreds of people attended the prayer breakfast at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.

      The governor and first lady host the event at the opening of each legislative session.