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Former Minnesota State University Moorhead Head Coach Ross Fortier to Receive Minnesota Football Honors John Gagliardi Legacy Award

By MN Chapter of the National Football Foundation, 04/29/21, 10:45AM CDT



MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – April 29, 2021 –  The Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation is pleased to announce former Minnesota State University Moorhead head coach Ross Fortier as this year’s recipient of the John Gagliardi Legacy Award. Fortier will be honored during a television broadcast in the first part of May.

“Ross Fortier has made a major impact on the lives of many student-athletes,” said Todd Fultz, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. “He is one of the most successful college coaches in the history of Minnesota football and we are thrilled to honor his excellent career accomplishments through this prestigious award."

Ross Fortier is the all-time winningest coach in Minnesota State University Moorhead football history. Over 23 seasons, he led the Dragons to a 152-80-4 overall record, including seven postseason appearances and nine conference championships. His 1981 team went undefeated in the regular season and finished No. 1 in the year’s final NAIA Division I poll. During Fortier’s coaching career, thirteen former players extended their careers by signing professional football contracts.

In 1983, Fortier launched the NSIC Metrodome Football Classic, which was an NSIC football showcase for nearly 20 seasons. The former Dragons head coach was inducted into the NAIA Football Coaches Hall of Fame, MSUM Athletic Hall of Fame, NSIC Hall of Fame, North Dakota State Athletic Hall of Fame and the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Fortier also served as President of the NAIA Football Coaches Association. 

The John Gagliardi Legacy Award honors the late John Gagliardi, one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. The former St. John’s head coach made a difference in the lives of many former players, coaches and fans. This annual award carries on his legacy by honoring the top coaches in Minnesota football history.

Minnesota Football Honors is hosting a show to honor this year’s high school, college and Minnesota Vikings award winners. Special guests will be featured, including Vikings players. An official broadcast date will be announced soon on


About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:

The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote amateur football’s ability to develop leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The Minnesota Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar-athletes. For more information, visit, or Facebook (@MNFootballHonors) and Twitter (@NFFMN).


Todd Fultz, President              

MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation 

Phone: (612)-325-5500    

Media Contact: 

Daniel House, Director of Media Relations and Content 

MN Chapter of the National Football Foundation