Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball
program didn't have to look far when filling its vacant assistant
coaching position as head coach Bill Sall
announced today (Sept. 2) the appointment of Andy
Bronkema as the school's full-time assistant coach.
Bronkema, who has served as a volunteer asssistant for the past three years, will replace longtime assistant coach Cory Anderson, who left earlier this month to become the athletics director at Forest Hills Eastern (Mich.) High School in the Grand Rapids area following 14 consecutive years in the FSU program.
"I'm thrilled to announce Andy's hiring," Sall said. "He's gained a lot of experience with us the last three years and is extremely passionate and excited about this opportunity.
"He's had a chance to grow into this role and has seen what all is involved so I expect him to do a great job," he added.
As the assistant coach, Bronkema will be involved with all phases of the program, including recruiting, on-floor coaching and administrative tasks.
"Andy's had a chance to be out on the road with us for three years both in recruiting and game situations, so he understands the many hats he'll wear as a Division II assistant," said Sall.
"He's also been around our senior players throughout their careers so he's had a chance to build relationships with the guys we have coming back."
In his tenure as a volunteer assistant, the Bulldogs have averaged 15 wins per year over the last two seasons and twice reached the GLIAC Postseason Tournament. Bronkema has assisted in all aspects of the program and been instrumental in player development, including serving as the squad's director of redshirt development.
"I'm excited for the opportunity and am looking forward to doing everything I can to help us continue to contend for championships," Bronkema said. "Cory did an outstanding job and his shoes will be hard to fill, but I've had time to work with him and have learned how things operate so that should be beneficial."
During his time on staff with the Bulldogs the last three seasons, Bronkema also served as an elementary physical education teacher at the Crossroads Charter Academcy School in Big Rapids.
Prior to his arrival at FSU, Bronkema was a collegiate standout at NAIA Division II member Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. As a player, he served as team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Bronkema was voted All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) three times and twice garnered NAIA Honorable Mention All-America laurels.
In his four years of college hoops, Bronkema led Cornerstone to two regular-season WHAC Championships, one WHAC Tournament crown and four national tournament appearances, including a NAIA Final Four showing. He concluded his collegiate career with 1,725 points, 982 rebounds, 336 assists along with 140 steals.
"Andy gained some great experience and had outstanding success as a player on championship teams in his college career," said Sall. "He brings a winning attitude and a competitive fire to the table, which will be great for our players to see."
Bronkema also served as the head running backs coach with the Grand Rapids Community College football team in 2005 when they finished as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Non-Scholarship National Champions.
A native of McBain, Mich., Bronkema was a three-sport athlete at the prep level and competed in football, basketball and baseball. He was part of 14 championship teams while at McBain and helped the Ramblers to a state hoops title in 2002 in addition to a state football runner-up effort in 2001.
Bronkema earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education from Cornerstone University and is currently completing his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Ferris State University.
Andy and his wife, Jenae, currently reside in Big Rapids with their daughter, Elliana. The couple is expecting a second child in December of 2010.
In addition to Bronkema, Sall also has two longtime collegiate coaches serving as volunteer assistants in Bill Killian and Ed Douma. A FSU professor, Killian has been involved with the program throughout Sall's eight-year tenure and his association with Ferris basketball dates back to the late 1980's.
Meanwhile, Douma served as Sall's collegiate head coach at Calvin during his playing career and previously spent 32 seasons as a head coach at several schools while winning 550 games. He jined the Bulldogs last season after spending the final 11 years of his head coaching career at Hillsdale.
The Bulldogs will open preseason practices in mid-October for the 2010-11 campaign.