John Hammersmith has been hired as the school's first-ever full-time Strength & Conditioning Coach.
Hammersmith joins the FSU program and will coordinate strength and conditioning duties for the school's other 15 varsity programs under Coordinator of Athletic Performance Dave Cencer's direction on a full-time basis. He played collegiate football in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) at the University of Findlay and spent two years as the Assistant Strength & Conditioning coach at the University of Central Missouri following two years in a similar role at NCAA Division I Bowling Green State. Most recently, he has served since May 2017 as a professional strength and conditioning intern with the University of Notre Dame football program.
Hammersmith brings more than five years of professional experience in strength and conditioning, athletic coaching and technique development to FSU. A 2013 Findlay graduate, Hammersmith served since 2015 at Central Missouri in a graduate assistant role where he employed a wide range of strength and conditioning techniques to help support the plan and execution of athletic performance for 10 varsity sports. He implemented training programs, assisted in daily maintenance and duties of the varsity weight room and supported the introduction and technique of Olympic-style lifting along with other duties.
"John brings a great deal of experience to this position and his enthusiasm for strength and conditioning will be an extremely valuable asset for Bulldog Athletics," said Cencer. "Having experience as a student-athlete at Findlay combined with what he has done working with teams at both the Division I and II levels makes him a perfect candidate to become the first person in this capacity at Ferris State. He brings a great deal of energy and experience and understands what it takes to be successful at this level."
Prior to his stint at Central Missouri, Hammersmith held an internship role as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Bowling Green State. In that position, he implemented and oversaw training programs for women's tennis, women's track, women's swimming, women's golf, men's golf, softball, men's soccer, baseball and rugby. He also assisted with the Falcons' football squad during his tenure.
Hammersmith started his career as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach at Tinora High School in Defiance, Ohio, in 2011. He also was the volunteer assistant strength and conditioning coach at Findlay in 2012-13 prior to taking the Bowling Green State position. While at Findlay, Hammersmith worked with 24 different programs and instructed student-athletes in areas such as agility, quickness and speed development in addition to lifting techniques and training programs.
"We're excited about having John Hammersmith on board and believe his hire will give us a competitive edge we haven't had before," said FSU men's basketball head coach Andy Bronkema. "He brings a great deal of experience and a commitment to enhancing the performance of our student-athletes. His addition is a tremendous one for Ferris State Athletics."
A three-year letterwinner and Academic All-GLIAC football honoree at Findlay, Hammersmith also spent time working in the athletic performance area at the University of Findlay's recreational center along with the Performance Zone in Findlay. He holds a bachelor's degree in health sciences with an emphasis in strength and conditioning along with a master's degree in kinesiology.
"Our programs and especially our student-athletes will benefit greatly from having a full-time strength and conditioning coach," said FSU volleyball head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. "We've long needed a person to manage this area and John Hammersmith is an outstanding and well-qualified person to lead us as we continue to strive for championship success."
Hammersmith was chosen following an extensive search process by an eight-member search committee, which included among others four FSU head coaches and was chaired by Cencer.