Issue 1 - Inside Bulldog Athletics With The Athletic Director

Happy Holidays Bulldog Fans,

It's an honor and a privilege to be the Athletic Director at Ferris State University.  During my three-plus months on the job I have enjoyed meeting many of you at games, social events, on campus and throughout the community.  I am impressed with your loyalty and support of our university as well as your passionate desire for our teams and student-athletes to succeed athletically and academically.

From my perspective a common characteristic shared by Bulldog fans is the desire for us to proactively build upon the traditions and successes that have been a big part of Bulldog Athletics over the years.

With this in mind, the Bulldog Athletic Association (BAA) was recently established so that all stakeholders can invest in the current and future success of Bulldog Athletics.  We need your continued financial support and contributions in order to attain those shared goals and dreams of making Bulldog Athletics an enterprise that is recognized on a national level for being a successful and well respected program.

The Bulldog Athletic Association now encompasses all fundraising groups such as the Blueline Club, Gridiron Club, Rebounders Club, Sixth Dawg Club, and the Diamond Dawg Club.  This recent development was necessary to provide more consistency in our fundraising programs and efforts.  Therefore, if you annually contribute (at the minimum level) to one of the booster groups noted above then you are a Bulldog Athletic Association member.

If you're not already a donor then please give serious consideration to joining the Bulldog Athletic Association through the I’m A Bulldog campaign.  You can designate your annual contribution to a particular sport, to general athletics, sports medicine, etc.  Our goal is to have 1,000 individuals who are passionate about Ferris State Athletics contribute a minimum of $250 annually.  (Click here for link to BAA).            

I am frequently asked, “What can I do to help Bulldog Athletics.”  There are several ways that you can help "make a difference" in the lives of our student-athletes;

There are several ways in which you can support our student-athletes and "make a difference".
* - Join the Bulldog Athletic Association
* - Purchase season tickets
* - Provide a summer job for a student-athlete
* - Purchase Ferris State Athletics merchandise and/or wearables 

We greatly appreciate your support and on behalf of our coaches, staff members and most importantly our student-athletes – Thank You!

U.S. 131 Showdown
A special upcoming event to mark on your calendars will be Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, when the Bulldog men's and women's basketball teams will play against our West Michigan rival Grand Valley State at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.  The conference doubleheader is being billed as the "U.S. 131 Showdown" and commences at 6 p.m. (EST) with the women's game followed by the men's contest at 8 p.m. (EST).  What a wonderful event this will be and we certainly hope you can attend and cheer on the Bulldogs. 

One of the areas which I have been impressed with is the competitive spirit of our student-athletes and coaches.  There have been many highlights both on the field and in the classroom in just my brief time at Ferris State and I want to just touch on some of those accomplishments.

School-Record National Tourney Finish
The nationally-ranked women's cross country team advanced to the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships for the third consecutive year and tied for the program's highest finish with an eighth-place performance. Click for article.  Senior student-athlete Tina Muir earned All-America honors for the third straight year as she finished a school-record 11th-place individually at the national meet.  Click for article.

Conference Championships
The men's golf team captured the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Men's Golf Championships title this fall for the 19th time in the program's history.  Individually, senior student-athlete Kyle Wittenbach claimed tournament medalist honors which marked the second consecutive time a FSU golf student-athlete has earned such recognition. Click for article.

ESPN Top 10 Plays
Junior student-athlete Jerrell Sanders of the men's basketball team was featured on ESPN Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays for Dec. 1 as a result of his highlight-reel dunk.  Click for article and/or video highlight.

Nationally-Ranked
The NCAA Division I men's ice hockey team has earned a national top 20-place ranking to date and has posted some impressive wins in the highly-competitive Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).  Earlier this season, the Bulldogs swept a two-game home series against nationally number-one ranked Miami (Ohio) and just recently, shutout Michigan State twice on the road for the first time in school history.  Ferris State also presently boasts the nation's top-ranked scoring defense!  As a result of our success, the program has been receiving increased exposure and the Bulldogs will be appearing on national/regional TV four times this January 2011 -- (Jan. 1 at Minnesota - FS North and FS Detroit, Jan. 14 at Michigan - CBS College Sports, Jan. 15 vs. Michigan - Comcast, and Jan. 27 vs. Michigan State - FS Detroit).    

Duly Honored 
The Dean Davenport "Bulldogs of the Year" Award recipients for the 2009-10 athletics season were recently honored during the Dec. 3 home ice hockey game.  Student-athlete Justin Keenan of the men's basketball team and former men's golf student-athlete Eric Lilleboe, a pair of All-Americans, were co-male award recipients while cross country student-athlete Tina Muir, also an All-American, was the female award recipient.  These awards were established by Dean Davenport, who served as athletics director at Ferris State from 1979-93, and are presented to the most outstanding Bulldog male and female student-athlete.  Click for article

Coaching Milestones
Two of our head coaches have reached milestones.  Women's basketball head coach Tracey Dorow registered her 200th career victory on Dec. 4 (Click for article) and women's volleyball head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm won her 300th match at Ferris State on Oct. 24 (Click for article).    

We are in the process of implementing some exciting initiatives such as a Team Fan Shop  where in the very near future our fans will be able to order customized Bulldog apparel and merchandise through our athletics website.  We're also developing a Fan Code of Conduct policy which will help ensure a more positive environment for all spectators attending a home Ferris State Athletics event. The content of our athletics website has been greatly enhanced with an increase in video content featuring game highlights, press conferences, and student-athlete features.

The holidays present all of us in the athletics department a wonderful opportunity to say thanks to our donors, fans, and supporters who help make a positive impact in the lives of our student-athletes.  I'm certainly grateful for your loyal support and pledge to be a responsible steward of your investment.  Every day I am energized by the challenge of directing the intercollegiate athletics program at Ferris State University which is a source of pride for Bulldogs fans everywhere.

Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season.

Go Bulldogs!

   

Perk Weisenburger
Athletic Director

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