Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University has announced the appointment of Andy Bronkema as the school's interim head coach for the men's basketball program and a search for a new head coach will take place, according to an announcement made today (May 11) by FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger.
Bronkema has served as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs for the past six seasons, including three years as the program's top assistant. He will lead the program in the transition period as the Bulldogs seek to fill the position vacated by 11th-year head coach Bill Sall, who has resigned to accept another head coaching position.
"Ferris State is very thankful for the dedication and commitment to our men's basketball program that Bill and his wife Karen have given us over the past eleven years," said Weisenburger. "The wins, the championships and the NCAA appearances are wonderfully memorable, but it will be Bill's leadership, friendship and impact on our student-athletes that we'll remember most.
"While this is undoubtedly a tough time for our current players and new members of the program, I know they would all join me in wishing Bill, Karen and their family nothing but happiness in their new journey," he added.
In his six years with the Bulldogs, Bronkema has helped FSU to two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Championships along with a NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2010-11. The Bulldogs have averaged more than 15 wins per year in his tenure as an assistant coach where he's been active in all aspects of the program, including player development, recruiting and on-floor coaching duties. Prior to his arrival at FSU, Bronkema was a collegiate standout at NAIA Division II member Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.
"I have asked Assistant Coach Andy Bronkema to assume interim head coaching responsibilities during the transition," Weisenburger said. "Andy has been a valuable part of Bulldog basketball for the past six seasons and his knowledge of the young men in the program and the University will allow him to effectively manage our basketball team. I am pleased that Andy has accepted this role as interim head coach."
A strong nucleus is expected to return for the Bulldogs next season as only two of the Bulldogs' 13 roster players were lost to graduation. FSU also inked a talented recruting class that includes a pair of transfer players. Six of the Bulldogs' top eight scorers this past year were either freshmen or sophomores.
"Bill has been a great friend and I've enjoyed working with him," Bronkema said. "I've also developed great relationships with our current and incoming student-athletes and my first priority right now is taking care of them and making sure their needs are met at this time."
Ferris State wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a 14-13 overall record and the Bulldogs reached the GLIAC Postseason Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years, which ranks as one of the conference's top showings over the past decade. FSU also posted an impressive 10-1 mark at home in league regular-season action at Jim Wink Arena.
This year represented the 12th consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have won 10 or more games. Overall, FSU has won four league championships and twice reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in the past decade.
"The process of finding a new head coach will begin as soon as possible," said Weisenburger. "Our basketball team is full of solid and talented young men who do things the right way. The next head coach will inherit a fantastic group and will have a lot to sell in terms of what Ferris State provides educationally and athletically as a member of the GLIAC."