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Ferris State University tabbed a West Michigan native to become the school's 13th men's basketball head coach when FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger announced the appointment of Andy Bronkema as the Bulldogs' new head coach on June 28, 2013.
A native of McBain, Bronkema was a two-time collegiate All-America student-athlete at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Ferris State, including three years as the program's top assistant. His elevation to head coach came following an extensive search process that yielded applicants from across the country and covered every level of collegiate basketball.
Bronkema, who took over prior to the 2013-14 season, has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back GLIAC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances each of the past two years. The Bulldog men's basketball squad closed a memorable 2015-16 campaign with a 24-10 overall record. FSU also reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen while finishing with its first back-to-back 20-win campaigns since the late 1980's.
Before earning the top job, Bronkema served as the program's interim head coach after the resignation of former head coach and colleague Bill Sall, who accepted the head coaching position at fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) counterpart Northern Michigan.
An individual with championship experience at every stop of his prep and collegiate playing and coaching career, Bronkema was heavily involved with all phases of the program as the top assistant coach, including recruiting, scouting, on-floor coaching and administrative tasks in addition to running the summer camp program, assisting with fundraising efforts and monitoring the program's academic progress.
Bronkema took over a Ferris State program with a long track record of success that includes more than 1,000 all-time victories, 13 GLIAC Championships and nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prior to becoming head coach, with Bronkema as the Bulldogs' top assistant, 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 nine years, which ranked as one of the conference's top showings in the past decade.
In his first year as the program's top assistant in 2010-11, the Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship and reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen. FSU followed up the memorable campaign by winning a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division crown in 2011-12. The Bulldogs made five-straight league tournament berths in Bronkema's tenure as an assistant coach and FSU recorded more victories in the competitive GLIAC North than any other school in his three years as the top assistant.
A strong motivator and communicator, Bronkema helped recruit, coach and develop seven all-conference players and a pair of All-Americans in his stint as an assistant coach, including 2010-11 Division II National Player of the Year Justin Keenan.
Prior to his tenure as the top assistant coach, Bronkema also served three seasons as an assistant on the Bulldog staff from 2007-10 while teaching elementary physical education at Crossroads Charter Academy in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs averaged 15 wins per year and twice reached the GLIAC Postseason Tournament in that stretch as he assisted in all aspects of the program with an emphasis on player development.
Before his arrival at FSU, Bronkema was a collegiate standout at NAIA Division II member Cornerstone University. As a player, he served as team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Bronkema was voted All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) three times and twice garnered NAIA Honorable Mention All-America laurels. He was also chosen as a Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and was a two-time academic all-conference honoree.
In his four years of college hoops, Bronkema led Cornerstone to two regular-season WHAC Championships, one WHAC Tournament crown and four national tournament appearances, including a NAIA Final Four showing. He concluded his collegiate career with 1,725 points, 982 rebounds, 336 assists along with 140 steals.
Bronkema also served as the head running backs coach with the Grand Rapids Community College football team in 2005 when they finished as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Non-Scholarship National Champions.
As a prepster, Bronkema was a three-sport athlete and competed in football, basketball and baseball at McBain High School. He was part of 14 championship teams while at McBain and helped the Ramblers to a state hoops title in 2002 in addition to a state football runner-up effort in 2001.
A member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Bronkema also holds membership in the BCAM, the Michigan High School Coaches Association and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education from Cornerstone University and is currently working towards his Master's Degree in Education at Ferris State. While at FSU, he's also served as an adjunct professor for the College of Education and Human Services.
Andy and his wife, Jenae, currently reside in Big Rapids with their three daughters.