A familiar face was tabbed as Ferris State University's top assistant men's basketball coach when Jim Lake was appointed to the position prior to the 2013-14 campaign by head coach Andy Bronkema.
The 40-year old Lake had served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulldogs in two different stints over the previous decade. He filled the void created when Bronkema was elevated to head coach. Lake was chosen following a search process that yielded more than 50 applicants.
In his first three seasons as the top assistant coach, Lake has helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back GLIAC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances each of the past two years. The Bulldog men's basketball squad closed a memorable 2015-16 campaign with a 24-10 overall record. FSU also reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen while finishing with its first back-to-back 20-win campaigns since the late 1980's.
Lake began his collegiate coaching career with the Bulldogs as a volunteer assistant under former head coach Bill Sall from 2003 to 2006. During that time, the Bulldogs claimed back-to-back GLIAC North Division Championships and made two-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen showing in 2004-05.
After leaving the Bulldog program to serve as a club coach for the Grand Rapids Storm, he returned to FSU in 2011-12 and helped the Bulldogs to a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division crown in his first season back with the program.
As an assistant coach, Lake has been heavily involved with nearly every facet of the program such as recruiting, player development, game management and organizing summer camps. He's also played a key role in administrative and fundraising duties as the top assistant.
In addition to his collegiate coaching background with the Bulldogs, Lake also brings nearly 17 years of coaching experience at the high school level, including nine seasons as a varsity basketball coach at both the Class B and D levels in Michigan. During the 1996-97 campaign at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Academy, he was the youngest (21) head coach for a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) member school.
Besides serving as a coach with the Grand Rapids Storm organization, Lake has also been employed as a teacher in the Chippewa Hills school district and served as the school's varsity basketball coach. During his time with the Storm, as a 16 and under coach, he compiled a 123-32 mark while coaching 35 players who moved on to collegiate basketball, including 11 NCAA Division I players and several who have played in the GLIAC. Lake has also previously worked basketball camps at Ferris, CMU, and the University of Michigan.
A native of Spokane, Wash., Lake graduated from North Branch (Mich.) High School in 1994. As a prepster, he participated in both football and basketball. He also attained all-area and all-conference accolades on the gridiron for the Broncos.
The son of Thomas and Suzanne Hunter of North Branch, Mich., Lake graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education with an emphasis in social studies and a minor in history from Central Michigan University in 1999. He later earned a master's degree in sports and recreation with an emphasis in coaching from Ohio University. Jim and his wife, Kara, reside in Canadian Lakes, Mich., with their two children, Abigail and Peter.