Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University football head coach Tony Annese, who led the Bulldogs to a second consecutive NCAA Division II National Quarterfinal appearance this fall, has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Michigan All-State Football Banquet, which takes place this Sunday (Dec. 10) evening in Dearborn.
The annual Michigan All-State "Dream Team" Banquet honors the top performers from across the state each year in conjunction with the State of Michigan chapter of the National Football Foundation. Annese was selected as one of the first Division II keynote speakers ever at the event, which takes place at the Dearborn Inn starting at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
One of the oldest and most established chapters of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the State of Michigan Chapter is a mainstay within the state's football community. The chapter enjoys a strong working relationship with the 662 high schools and the many colleges and universities in Michigan. Football, at all levels, has always been a way of life in the state and the State of Michigan Chapter serves as a vehicle to celebrate the achievements of the people who play and coach the game.
The chapter's annual awards banquet is a unique and very popular event, considered by many to be the most important postseason event in the area. It is here where college and high school seniors from across Michigan are honored for excellence in the classroom, on the football field and in the community. In addition, the chapter also honors the Michigan All-State "Dream Team." More than 50 college coaches from schools throughout the country annually attend this highly successful event.
Under Annese, Ferris State finished the recent 2017 campaign with an 11-2 overall record. FSU's 11 wins this season marked the fourth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had achieved the feat, which represents the first time in school history in which FSU has done so over four-straight years.
This fall, the Bulldogs also made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs and reached the national quarterfinal round for the second-straight year after making a D2 National Semifinal appearance in 2016. Ferris State hosted its first-ever home playoff game in the month of December this fall.
A year ago, Annese led FSU to a 12-3 overall record in 2016 while advancing to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals for only the second time in school history. In 2016, the Bulldogs also posted a school-record tying 12 victories. Ferris State received the program's third-straight NCAA Football Playoff berth and captured the Super Region Four Championship by beating archrival Grand Valley State during a memorable postseason run. The 15-week campaign, which included three postseason playoff wins, was the school's longest in 109 years of Bulldog Football.
Over the last four seasons at Ferris State, the Bulldogs have compiled a 45-7 overall record and made four consecutive NCAA Playoff appearances, claimed two conference championships, posted two unbeaten regular-seasons, twice made the national quarterfinals, captured a regional title and reached the national semifinals. Ferris State has also accumulated two Harlon Hill National Player of the Year trophies, twice had a student-athlete tabbed as the nation's National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and won six postseason games.
In the six seasons under Annese, the Bulldogs have become a national power on the Division II level. FSU has posted a 60-14 overall mark in the last six years and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) since his arrival. Twice he's been tabbed as the Super Region Coach of the Year at Ferris State.
Overall, Annese has won 83% of his games as a head coach on the collegiate and prep levels and owns 285 wins to date, which is the most of any current GLIAC member head coach at all levels.
Before taking over the Bulldog program, Annese established himself as one of the state's premier coaches and a football mastermind in four stops at the prep level. He posted a mark of 195-41 in 22 seasons as a prep head coach at Montrose, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Jenison and Muskegon High Schools while making 15 playoff appearances and five trips to the state semifinals, including three state championships before an impressive three-year run as head coach at Grand Rapids Community College. He is an inductee in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame (MHSFCA).