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Tom Sawyer will lead Winona State (D-II - MN) for one final season

Tom Sawyer has enjoyed a remarkable run as the head coach at Winona State dating back to 1996.

After wrapping up their spring game this past weekend, Sawyer has announced that the fall 2021 season will be his final before retirement.

Winona State athletic director Eric Schoh shared the following on Sawyer in the school's release:

"We are sad to see Coach Sawyer go, and yet are excited about seeing the 2021 Warriors with Tom at the helm. You cannot talk about Warrior football without thinking of Tom. His successes speak for themselves, but more importantly, his character and the character of the program are second to none. He will always be a part of this program and I look forward to spending more time with him on the sidelines as a fan in 2022, and beyond." 

In 24 seasons leading the program, Sawyer holds a 190-86 record with many of those games coming in, what many believe is one of the toughest conferences in Division II football, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Sawyer, an alumnus of the school who played football and baseball before joining the football staff, led the program to finishes of .500 or better in 21 out of those 24 seasons and he captured NSIC Coach of the Year honors five times and led the team to the postseason ten times.

One of the most impressive parts of coach Sawyer's legacy is that in the 107-year history of the program, there has been just one postseason game played without Sawyer as the head coach...and that was the 1993 NAIA national championship game when he was an assistant on staff.

The 2019 season saw the team finish 8-4 and they return a veteran coaching staff and a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for Sawyer's final season.

In closing, Sawyer shared the following in the school's release about his excitement for the upcoming fall season.

"I have been truly blessed to lead this amazing program! But to have one more opportunity with this very talented team, the 2021 season will be the best gift any coach could wish for…it is a great day to be a Warrior!" 

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