Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University men's basketball head coach Andy Bronkema continued his winning ways on Tuesday (July 9) night as he won the 2019 Mecosta County "Celebrity Harness Race".
Bronkema, who guided the Bulldogs to the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship was among five local riders who raced in the Celebrity Sulky Race at the Mecosta County Agriculture Free Fair in Big Rapids at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds. As part of the race, he raised support for "Friends of Ferris" in support of the university.
Along with Bronkema, the other racers in the community service fundraiser this year included John Chaput, racing for The Shamrock Invitational, along with Melissa Scheible, who raced for Artworks. The other two participants were Aaron Thompson, racing for Angels of Action, in addition to Emily Fransted, who raced for St. Mary's School.
The 21st annual event included an infield party along with a contest for best dressed derby attire and more. All proceeds from the event went to the racers' charities.
This year, Bronkema followed in the footsteps of several other current and former Bulldog staff members who have raced. The group includes Ferris State Hockey head coach Bob Daniels, who competed in the event as a celebrity racer in 2014 to support the Little Kevin Courtney Youth Hockey fund, along with former FSU Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles, who was in the 2015 race riding for Friends of Ferris. Most recently, current FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger also raced for the Friends of Ferris in 2017.
The 2018 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, Bronkema guided the Bulldogs to the most historic season in school history in 2017-18 when FSU finished 38-1 overall and claimed the school's first national championship. The Bulldogs have presently won 20 games or more five consecutive years under his direction.