Dear Northwestern State Community,

It is with heavy hearts that we come to you today to share a significant decision regarding our beloved Demons football team. The Northwestern State University family is going through a difficult and somber period following the tragic passing of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell. Our community mourns the loss of Ronnie, a cherished member of our Northwestern State family.

Ronnie’s passing has deeply impacted our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We initially thought that continuing with the football season would be a way to honor Ronnie and help our team find solace. However, we’ve come to understand that the pain and grief within our team runs too deep. In light of this, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the 2023 football season.

Additionally, we have accepted Brad Laird’s resignation as head football coach, who was profoundly affected by the tragedy, and has expressed desire to step away from the program. We thank him for his dedication and service. Coach Laird remains a proud alum and will continue to support our football program. Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Weston Glaser, will be stepping in as our interim head coach and our search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

While the Demons will not take the field for the rest of the season, we want to assure you that the athletic department will continue to offer counseling and support services to our players and staff. The decision to cancel football is not permanent, and we fully anticipate returning to play for the 2024 season.

We are grateful for your understanding of this challenging decision. Our gratitude goes out to the entire Northwestern State community, including our team, family, friends, and loyal fans for your unwavering support during this trying time.

Ticket refund information for the remaining two home games will be provided at a later date. If you have any questions regarding refunds, please feel free to reach out to Scott Maggio via email at

Some events are indeed bigger than football, and this difficult decision reaffirms our commitment to putting the wellbeing of our people first. Our thoughts and support are with Ronnie’s family as they manage this profound grief. We will continue to navigate this journey together as a resilient and united Northwestern State family.


President Marcus Jones
Kevin Bostian, Athletic Director
Northwestern State University