FARGO, N.D. – Former North Dakota State University head football coach Darrell Mudra passed away Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the age of 93.
Mudra is the man credited with turning the football fortunes around for North Dakota State. Named the head coach in 1963, he quickly guided the Bison to a 10-1 campaign in 1964 — just two years after the program had bottomed out with an 0-10 season — and into their first bowl game. The Bison won that contest, the Mineral Water Bowl, 14-13 over Western State and then captured the 1965 national championship with a perfect 11-0 season including a 20-7 win over Grambling in the Pecan Bowl.
His coaching career is legend across the American landscape. Nicknamed “Dr. Victory,” Mudra coached for 27 years at eight different universities or professional teams in the capacity of head coach, winning 207 games against 88 losses and four ties.
Mudra went 24-6 in three years at North Dakota State after coaching four seasons at Adams State (1959-62) and before going on to coach the Montreal Alouettes (1966). He returned to the college ranks at Arizona (1967-68), Western Illinois (1969-73), Florida State (1974-75), Eastern Illinois (1978-82) and Northern Iowa (1983-87). He won another national championship with Eastern Illinois in 1978.
Mudra was inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.