What a difference 19 years have made at Morningside College

At times when life feels bleak and it seems as if a bad situation will never get better, you might want to think about the football team at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

Saturday night, I watched No. 1 Morningside, the two-time defending NAIA national champion, win its 30th consecutive game, defeating No. 6 Northwestern College of Orange City, Iowa, 45-31. Everything about the previous sentence would have been unimaginable in 1989, the year I graduated from Morningside. How and why I watched Saturday night’s game also would have seemed impossible back in the day. More on that in a bit.

In 1989, I graduated from Morningside, which posted at least one winless season during my four years as a student. Erv Mondt, the head coach at Morningside went 19-46-1 from 1983-1988 for a winning percentage of .295. I remember games in which there might have been 50 fans in the stadium. For more than a decade after I left, things didn’t get better for Morningside, which had been a charter member of the North Central Conference and competed at the NCAA Division II level.

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