Laqua Named Don Hansen Super Region 4 Coach of the Year; Three Dragons Earn Honors

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (MSUM Athletics) — Minnesota State University Moorhead head football coach Steve Laqua has been named the Don Hansen 2018 Super Region Four Coach of the Year, it was announced on Tuesday. In addition, MSUM sophomore receiver Jake Richter was named to the Super Region 4 second-team offense while senior offensive lineman Andrew Erickson and senior linebacker Michael Strand were named to the third team.

Also the 2018 NSIC Coach of the Year, Laqua guided the Dragons to an 8-4 mark in 2018, the most wins in a season for MSUM since 1991. He led the team to its best finish in the NSIC (tied for third) since the league expanded to 16 teams in 2012.  Laqua, who competed in his eighth year as MSUM head coach, has led the Dragons to 20 wins over the past three years, their best three-year stretch since 1991-93.

Richter had a big season for the Dragons, catching 68 passes for 1,113 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was second in the NSIC at 92.8 yards receiving per game and fourth in receptions per game at 5.82.  He had four 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high 234 yards at Bemidji State. Richter was also an All-NSIC first-team.

Strand, named to the All-Super Region 4 third-team defense, picked up the third All-NSIC North second-team honors of his career. He had 92 tackles, including 13 for loss. He had 47 solo stops. Strand also had three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Erickson, named to the All-Super Region 4 third-team defense, also earned the All-NSIC North honors for a second straight year. He started all 11 games this season at right tackle and has played all 44 games the past four seasons.

Richter advances to a national ballot from which the 2018 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be selected.