Keri Becker begins her 14th year in the 2011 season as head coach at Ferris State University and has molded the Bulldog softball program into a highly-respective competitive one both at the conference, regional, and national level.
The last three seasons (2007-09), Ferris State has produced a combined 96-44 record (.686) while making back-to-back NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearances in both 2007 and 2008. The 2008 team's success was a testament to Becker's coaching as she directed FSU to a NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Championship at Edwardsville, Ill., and a fifth-place tie showing at the 2008 NCAA-II Softball Championships National Tournament in Houston, Texas. The Bulldogs also were regular season co-champions of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and through her efforts, Becker was tabbed as the "Michael J. Corbett" GLIAC Coach of the Year for the third time in her distinguished coaching career. Becker along with her two assistant coaches were also chosen as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)/NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
As with any highly-competitive individual, Becker experienced success in a relatively short period of time at Ferris State. But, despite facing adversity the past few years, she has aspirations of attaining even more significant goals in the future.
Adversity makes the drive to succeed that much greater and Becker has experienced her share of adversity both on and off the field. She was called to active United States Army duty in late February 2003 in support of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and subsequently missed the entire 2003 softball campaign. On Feb. 20, 2003, Becker's travels started with refresher military training at Ft. Leonardwood, Mo., and eventually landed her at Camp As Sayliyah in Doha, Qatar. She served a six-month stint there before returning to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. to complete her tour of duty.
"Like many coaches, I've faced my share of adversity when it comes to winning," said Becker. "While this may create frustration for some, it only has driven me to work harder in finding different ways to prepare, train and inspire my players. I stress to my players the importance of keeping winning and losing in perspective and coaching is no different."
Becker wasted little time achieving success at Ferris State as she helped the Bulldogs to their first-ever regional title in 1998 as the squad went on to place third at the NCAA Softball Championships. The third-place showing marked the highest national finish ever for a Ferris women's athletics team at the time. Two years later, Ferris State experienced a high-level of success once again when the 2000 Bulldogs posted a 33-18 overall mark and claimed the GLIAC Championship title for the first time since 1982. The previous 1999 campaign, Ferris set a team single-season record with 46 victories and captured its second straight NCAA Great Lakes Regional Tourney title.
In her 13 seasons at Ferris State, Becker holds the distinction of being the program's all-time winningest coach with a 409-253-1 career record (.617 winning pct.) as the Bulldogs have averaged over 31 victories per season during her coaching career. Furthermore, Becker has directed Ferris State to an overall conference title (2000), three (1999, 2000, and 2005) GLIAC Tournament titles, three (1998, 1999, 2008) NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championship crowns and the three (1997-99) most successful seasons in the program's history. She made her first season as head coach a memorable one by being selected as the 1997 GLIAC Coach of the Year.
Prior to the 2010 season, Becker ranked 45th among the NCAA-II's active coaches in victories (383) and was 47th in winning percentage (.618). Becker is listed 52nd by percentage for winningest all-time coaches.
Before her arrival to Ferris, Becker served two seasons (1995-96) as an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State University. As a student-athlete at SVSU, Becker enjoyed a stellar softball career for the Cardinals in which she received all-conference first-team honor four straight seasons and was a two-time academic all-league selection as a four-year starter.
Becker attained her 100th career win in 1999 (March 27) with a 14-5 five-inning win over Wayne State at the Wayne State Invitational and then claimed her 200th coaching victory in 2002 (April 10) as a result of a 15-1 five-inning home league triumph versus Lake Superior State. Becker notched her 300th career coaching win on April 16, 2007 in a 10-2 conference home decision against Ashland. She reached another milestone in her distinguished career in the 2009 season by claiming her 400th career victory in a 4-1 home league decision over Tiffin on April 17.
The Sanford, Mich., native received a softball scholarship to SVSU after concluding a notable prep athletics career at Sanford-Meridian High School in Sanford, Mich. An all-state and four-time all-conference pick in softball, Becker played an integral role in helping the Mustangs capture the 1987 State Class B title under coach Gary Edwards. A four-year starter at SMHS, she presently holds seven school batting records, including most hits, home runs and RBI, and four pitching records, including most wins and lowest earned run average.
Becker competed in basketball three years, attaining all-conference and all-area laurels. Becker serves as a member of the National Championship Softball Committee and is chair of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Ranking Committee. She also holds membership in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
A resident of Howard City, Mich., Becker serves as FSU Athletics Senior Women's Administrator and also spent the summer of 2010 as the university's Interim Athletics Director.
Her interests include downhill skiing, boating and playing with her beloved dogs - McKenzie, a Labrador Retreiver, and Gabby, a Husky. Prior to being called to active duty, Becker served eight years (1992-00) in the United States Army Reserve and held the rank of sergeant.
Head Coach Keri Becker Bio - (PDF)