April 12, 2013

Frosty Westering won four national titles and was among a select group of coaches to win more than 300 college football games.

Yet he was just as well known for his positive teachings and his success as a motivational speaker and author.

The grandfatherly former football coach at Pacific Lutheran died on Friday at 85, the school said. He had been in failing health in recent years and spent his final two months in hospice care.

"As we rejoice in dad's life, we say that God is good," his son, Scott, who is now the football coach at PLU, said in a statement from the school. "We know the end story here, that Frosty is with his Savior in heaven, and we are at peace with this."

In 32 seasons at the NAIA and NCAA Division III school, Westering won four titles and finished as a national runner-up four other times. He won more than 78 percent of his games at PLU, going 261-70-5 at the private school. Before coming to PLU, Westering coached at Parsons College in Iowa and Lea College in Minnesota.

Westering retired in 2003 with 305 total victories and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He led the Lutes to NAIA national titles in 1980, 1987 and 1993, then in the school's second year after making the jump to Division III, led PLU to the 1999 national title. The Lutes became the first team to win five road games to win the title.

His record at the small school about an hour south of Seattle was staggering. He never had a losing record in any of his 32 seasons and had 19 total playoff appearances. Three times he was a national coach of the year.

But that was just one part of Westering. He was a professor and successful author, transferring his beliefs about coaching into life skills. Westering wrote two books - "Make The Big Time Where You Are" and "The Strange Secret of the Big Time: What Makes Life Great" - and regularly spoke to groups of all ages. Westering also started a mentorship program among PLU football players with local elementary students where they spend about 2,000 hours annually at schools working with kids.

Westering is survived by his wife, Donna, five children and 13 grandchildren.

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