Ferris State Football Announces Staff Changes

Big Rapids, Mich. - New Ferris State University football head coach Tony Annese began the process of assembling his coaching staff with today's announcement of several staff changes as a new era of Bulldog Football unfolds.

Four full-time staff members have been appointed to assistant coaching roles within the program.  They include former FSU football player Ryan Hodges along with Ryan Brady, Ryan Oshnock and Rob Zeitman.  All four will begin their duties immediately.

"I'm excited to announce the hiring of these individuals and believe they will do an outstanding job of representing our program and helping us achieve success," Annese said.  "I've had the opportunity to work with these individuals over the years and am confident they will do whatever it takes to give our student-athletes the ability to be successful both on and off the field."

Additionally, Annese announced the status of the assistants from the previous coaching staff.  Former offensive line coach Eric Ravellette left FSU on Jan. 9 to become offensive coordinator at Trine University and defensive backs coach Kyle Williams departed the staff on Jan. 4 to pursue opportunities in his home state of California.  Not being retained are defensive coordinator Duane Wilson, offensive coordinator Chris Boden and part-time assistant coach Allen Curtiss. 

Part-time assistant coach Joe Hensel will remain on Annese's staff while part-time assistant Travis Eising will stay with the program thru the completion of the spring semester. 

Zeitman, Hodges and Brady all have direct ties as former assistant coaches under Annese at various stops.  Both Hodges and Brady were also part of his staff the last three years at Grand Rapids Community College while Zeitman worked under Annese as an assistant coach at Muskegon High School for three years.  In addition, Hodges, Brady and Oshnock all played collegiately in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

Most recently, Zeitman served as the head coach for five years at Grand Rapids Northview High School where he directed the school's most prolific offense in the last forty years and coached three all-state caliber players. Prior to taking over at Northview in 2007, he served as the head coach for two seasons at Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township after a four-year stint as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator on Annese's staff at Muskegon.  He began his prep coaching career in 1995 as an assistant at G.Holmes Braddock High School in Miami (Fla.).  Zeitman holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and also attended the Naval Academy.

"Rob is a very bright individual and understands the aspect of my approach from his time working alongside me," Annese said.  "He will help players develop to their fullest potential and has the right perspective, which will allow young players to succeed."

A FSU graduate, Hodges worked under Annese the last three years as the defensive backs coach at GRCC and helped the Raiders to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Championship in both 2009 and 2011.  Prior to GRCC, he also was part of Annese's staff that won three state titles as a prep assistant at Muskegon HS.  He gained experience in professional football as the defensive coordinator for the Muskegon Thunder in 2008 and recorded a 22-5 mark as the head junior varsity coach for Muskegon High.  While at Muskegon, he was also the school's head softball and powerlifting coach. 

Hodges played collegiately at FSU and was a four-year letterwinner who claimed All-GLIAC accolades in 2000.  Overall, he played in 40 games as a Bulldog defensive back and totaled 213 tackles along with six interceptions and 28 passes defended.  He first played prep football under Annese at Montrose High School and broke into coaching as a student assistant at FSU in 2002.  Hodges has served as a teacher or professor at both Muskegon and GRCC.

"Ryan is a former Bulldog and was part of a championship team at Ferris State," said Annese.  "He's been with me since his collegiate playing days first at Muskegon and the last three years at GRCC.  Overall, he's a technician and high-energy guy who gets the most out of his players."

Oshnock played collegiate football in the GLIAC at Wayne State where he was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at defensive back.  A three-time GLIAC All-Academic Team honoree, he was a national semifinalist for the prestigious Draddy Award combining athletic and academic excellence in 2006.  A native of Lakeview, he began his coaching career as a prep teacher and assistant at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., from 2007-08 where he helped the school to a two-year mark of 29-1 in addition to two state titles and high national rankings. He then moved to the collegiate level as a defensive graduate assistant at Central Michigan in 2009 where he helped the Chippewas to the Mid-American (MAC) Conference Championship and GMAC Bowl victory as a cornerbacks coach on the staff of head coach Butch Jones, a former FSU assistant coach and Bulldog alum. 

Oshnock ventured on in the same role with Jones to Cincinnati in 2010 and helped coach the defensive line while gaining both recruiting and scouting experience.  He most recently served as an assistant coach and teacher at Loyola Blakefield High School in Townson, Md., this past fall.  Oshnock holds a bachelor's degree in education from Wayne State where he was on the dean's list for 13 consecutive semesters.

"Ryan has a strong background in college football and will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff," said Annese.  "He's familiar with our league as a former player in this conference and understands what it takes to be successful on and off the field."

Finally, Brady is no stranger to the GLIAC as well as he played quarterback and earned a bachelor's degree in education from Grand Valley State.  He helped lead GVSU to the Division II National Championship game as a quarterback in 2001 and was a member of the school's first national title team in 2002.  Brady served as the Lakers' quarterbacks coach on their '03 championship squad before going to Muskegon HS as a strength and conditioning coach in 2004.  He served as the head freshman coach at Chesaning High School in 2005 and then took over as the offensive coordinator and QB coach at Montrose High School in 2006.  He moved on to become head coach at Perry High School in 2008 before joining Annese's staff as quarterbacks coach at GRCC in 2009.  Brady led Chesaning to a state football championship as the school's signal caller in 1998 and was a first-team all-state honoree.  He also holds a masters degree in educational leadership from Saginaw Valley State.

"Ryan's had an opportunity to develop some great quarterbacks and he was both a state and national champion as a player," Annese said.  "He understands what it takes to play the position and will help develop our guys to become outstanding players."

Ferris State fans and the local community will have on opportunity to meet Coach Annese and his staff during a special "Pregame Meet and Greet" prior to the Bulldog Hockey home game against Michigan State next Friday (Jan. 27).  The event will take place at Buffalo Wild Wings in Big Rapids starting at 5 p.m. (ET).

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