The Ferris State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics named Jon Coles to the associate athletics director position in August 2008. In 2017, he was honored as a Ferris State Distinguished Service Award recipient.
Coles’s primary responsibilities are oversight of football concessions, outdoor facilities, community outreach and engagement, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, athletic communications, ticketing, marketing, sales, promotions, licensing, spirit groups, and game day management. He has also served as a sport liaison for eleven of seventeen sports.
An active community minded individual, Coles has been heavily involved in a number of organizations and committees. Coles serves the Big Rapids Jaycees, Paint Big Rapids Pink Committee, Big Rapids Community Tennis Association, Bulldog Beginnings Committee, Homecoming Committee, and others. He has chaired the Downtown Fall Festival Parade and the area's 4th of July Parade. Coles also has sat on numerous GLIAC committees.
A native of Greenville, Mich., Coles arrived at Ferris State after serving as the activities and athletics director/assistant principal at Big Rapids (Mich.) High School since 2004. During his stint at BRHS, Coles developed and implemented a Captain's Clinic while also creating a department slogan and a Cardinal Game Plan for College Athletics. He was a committee member of the Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary Award and served on the MIAAA Educational Athletics Committee. On the playing field, the Cardinals featured five all-state academic teams from 2007-08 and were the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) All-Sports Champions in 2007-08. Big Rapids hosted numerous Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) tournaments, including a state semi-final soccer match during his tenure.
Before his position at Big Rapids, Coles was the men's and women's tennis head coach along with intramural director at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. from 2001-04. While at LSSU, Coles guided the 2004 men's team to its best record in school history and the program's first-ever NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament appearance. The Lakers also achieved their first regional ranking (fifth place) in the men's tennis program's history during the 2004 campaign. As a result of his success, Coles was chosen as the 2004 Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Regional Coach of the Year. Coles, who was tabbed as the 2001 GLIAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year in his inaugural season, recruited four LSSU Athlete of the Year recipients. He was the chairman of the NCAA Regional Ranking Committee from 2003-04 after previously serving as a committee member from 2002-03. Coles was the co-chairman of LSSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) from 2002-04.
A 1999 graduate of Valapariso, Coles was a four-year (1995-99) letterwinner on the Crusaders' men's tennis team. He earned team Most Valuable Player recognition in 1999 after garnering 1997 team Most Improved Player Award honors. The 1998-99 team captain, Coles was chosen as the Mid-Continent Conference's (Mid-Con) Player of the Week in the 1999 season and was a Mid-Con Tournament finalist in the same season. In 1998, he was the Eastern Michigan University Invitational #1 Singles Tournament Champion. While at Valparaiso, Coles was a committee member for the university's S.A.A.C. from 1998-99.
Coles earned a master's degree in athletic administration from Central Michigan University in 2004 and was selected as the CMU Physical Education and Sports Department's Outstanding Alumni in 2007. He currently is working towards his doctorate degree in sports psychology at San Diego (Calif.) University for Integrative Studies.
Coles is married to Emily Guenther and are the parents of two children, Carson and Reid. The family resides in Big Rapids.