Northwestern State has decided to cancel the remainder of its 2023 season following the death of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell on Thursday, October 12. Head coach Brad Laird has also resigned from his position as the team’s head coach.
“Ronnie was a beloved member of our community, and we miss him dearly,” said Northwestern State President Marcus Jones. “While our instinct was to return to the field of play following his death, we’ve since learned that the hurt on our team was too deep. Now it is in the best interest of our players, coaches, and staff to pause and to take this time to mourn, to heal, and to support Ronnie’s family.”
Following Caldwell’s death, the school’s game at Nicholls scheduled for Saturday, October 14 was canceled and its game against Southeastern Louisiana was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 21 but moved forward to Thursday, October 19 to allow Northwestern State players and staff to attend his funeral services. Northwestern State was winless on the season at 0-6 and its remaining opponents were McNeese, Houston Christian, Incarnate Word, and Texas A&M-Commerce.
Laird was in his sixth season as head coach of the Demons. He finished with an overall record of 16-41 and was 15-25 in the Southland Conference. Northwestern State’s best finish was in 2022 as they finished third in the conference standings behind Southeastern Louisiana and Incarnate Word. Laird played his college football at Northwestern State as a quarterback from 1991 through 1995.
Weston Glaser will take over as interim head coach until NSU completes its hiring of a new head football coach. Glaser has been the defensive coordinator at NSU since 2022 after previous stints at Campbell, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M, and UTEP.
Photo credit to Northwestern State University Athletics