Northwest Missouri State head football coach Scott Bostwick died Sunday morning while mowing the lawn at his Maryville, Mo., home. The school’s athletics website reported the cause of death was a heart attack.

Bostwick, 49, was named Northwest Missouri State’s 18th football coach in December. He had served as the team’s defensive coordinator since 1994. During that span, the Bearcats won 12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships and three Division II championships in 1998, 1999 and 2009, appearing in the title game seven times.

Bostwick, the 2007 American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year, routinely produced one of the top defenses in the nation. The Bearcats led the MIAA in scoring defense in each of the last five seasons and in total defense in two of the last three.

The Bearcats have finished in the top 10 nationally in stopping the run three times in the past five years, including 2006 when the team set a program record by allowing just 75 rushing yards per game. Only eight individuals have posted 100 yards rushing against Northwest in the past 77 games dating to 2004.

Bostwick coached 20 defensive players who combined to appear on numerous All-America teams. Six Bearcats were named MIAA Defensive Player of the Year under Bostwick.

Before joining the staff at Northwest Missouri State, Bostwick spent four years at Western Washington. He served as defensive coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan from 1986 to 1990.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan, where he was a four-year letter-winner and was named all-conference and all-district. He was inducted into the Nebraska Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2006 and is the program’s third-leading tackler.