Big Rapids, Mich. - One of the top prep coaches in the state will take over the Ferris State University women's basketball program as FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger today (June 14) officially announced the appointment of Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate as the Bulldogs' new head coach.
A veteran coach with 26 years of experience on the sidelines, Lamoreaux-Tate most recently has spent the last seven years as the varsity girls basketball coach at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School where she's guided the Cougars to a 167-19 cumulative record.
She becomes only the sixth head coach in the 38-year history of Bulldog women's basketball and replaces former head coach Tracey Dorow, who accepted the head coaching position at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University in April. She will officially begin her duties on Monday (June 18).
"A very competitive search process has resulted in the hiring of Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate as our new head coach for women's basketball at Ferris State," said Weisenburger. "We could not be more enthusiastic about what Colleen brings to our basketball program, our athletic department and our university. We were looking for a head coach who could quickly build upon the success of our program and we are absolutely thrilled that our search process led us to Colleen.
"We quickly learned that Colleen is a person of tremendous character and an outstanding motivator with great passion, energy and an unquestionable commitment to a game and profession that she truly loves and respects," he added. "It was apparent that she is very comfortable with who she is, what she believes in and what has allowed her to be successful as a head coach. She connected with everyone she met and I believe her to be an ideal fit for Ferris State. We look for Colleen to have a long and very successful career as our women's basketball coach."
Lamoreaux-Tate took over the girls program at GR Catholic Central in 2005. In her seven seasons at the helm, she's recorded 23 wins or more six consecutive years, including back-to-back 27-1 marks in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Her 2009-10 team claimed the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class B State Championship.
"I'm excited about this new opportunity to continue to build on the legacy that's been left at Ferris State," Lamoreaux-Tate said. "Our full intention is to keep this program at a high level and the returning players I've met with have been excited about my reputation for being an intense and demanding coach.
"Over my 26 years in coaching, I've had opportunities to coach at the collegiate level, but the timing has never been right. While it is still difficult to leave my team at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, the timing now is right and I'm looking forward to this new opportunity," she added.
Lamoreaux-Tate led the Cougars to a district finals appearance in her initial season (2005-06). Her second team reached the regional finals and posted a 24-2 mark in 2006-07 followed by a state quarterfinal showing and a 26-3 ledger in 2007-08. In 2008-09, her squad became the first team in more than 100 years of Catholic Central High School history to finish the regular-season undefeated and they eventually earned state runner-up laurels while posting the first of two identical 27-1 marks.
After winning the state championship in 2009-10, the Cougars tallied a 23-2 record and made the state quarterfinals in 2010-11. Her final team this past season (2011-12) posted a 24-4 record and was the state runner-up. She's been tabbed three times as the Grand Rapids Press Coach of the Year and twice claimed Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Coach of the Year recognition at Catholic Central, including being named as the all-region winner of the award in 2008-09. Additionally, she's been honored as the MHSAA and Associated Press Coach of the Year, the Detroit Dream Team Coach of the Year and the Catholic Central High School Coach of the Year in her tenure.
Prior to taking over as the varsity girls basketball coach at Catholic Central, Lamoreaux-Tate spent two seasons as the freshman boys basketball coach for the Cougars and recorded a 32-8 record. That came on the heels of a highly-successful stint as the girls basketball coach at East Grand Rapids High School from 1995 to 2004, which was her first varsity head coaching opportunity.
While at East Grand Rapids, Lamoreaux-Tate guided the Pioneers to a 185-45 record in 10 seasons along with nine district championships, five regional crowns, three state quarterfinal showings, two state semifinal appearances and one state runner-up finish. She led East GR to the state final four for the first time in school history in 2001 and was a three-time Coach of the Year honoree. Prior to her appointment, East Grand Rapids had averaged only two wins per season and never won a district game.
Lamoreaux-Tate made her coaching debut as the freshman girls basketball coach from 1989-95 at West Catholic High School in the Grand Rapids area. Her freshman team at West Catholic never finished less than second in the city league in her seven seasons. Her coaching experience also includes a year as a volunteer assistant coach at Aquinas College under Patti Tabaldi in 1994.
"The support I've received over the years has been tremendous and I can't thank the people I've worked with in the past enough," Lamoreaux-Tate said. "I'm honored to call many of them dear friends and the way in which many have embraced us has helped lead to this new opportunity."
Along with her coaching experience, Lamoreaux-Tate brings a diverse range of business and management skills. She's served as an office manager in Grand Rapids and has also worked as a security supervisor who's interacted with young adults at Northview High School in Grand Rapids since 2010. Additionally, she's also been active running prep basketball camps throughout her coaching career and several of her former high school players have moved on to play at the collegiate level.
Lamoreaux-Tate was a three-year varsity player during her prep career at West Catholic and claimed all-state, all-conference and all-area recognition. She went on to play collegiately two years each at both Lake Superior State and Aquinas where she earned a bachelor's degree in physical education. Lamoreaux-Tate also received an associate's degree in criminology from the Grand Valley State University Police Academy.
Lamoreaux-Tate and her husband, Brent, reside in Walker with their children, Trenton and Katie, along with Tiesha and Ryheem Stokes.
Ferris State finished the 2011-12 season with a 23-7 overall record, which matched the school record set previously in 2006-07 for most wins in a campaign. The Bulldogs also advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional semifinals and claimed the schools second-ever Great Lakes Intercollegiate (GLIAC) North Division Championship.
A press conference introducing Lamoreaux-Tate will take place on Tuesday (June 19) at 2 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. The event is open to both the media and the general public.
"I want to thank those involved in this process, our fans and especially our current women's basketball players for their patience and faith during this period of transition," said Weisenburger.
Lamoreaux-Tate At A Glance:
* 26 years of coaching experience
* Posted a 167-19 mark in seven seasons as head coach at Grand Rapids Catholic Central
* Recorded a 185-45 record in 10 years as the head coach at East Grand Rapids
* Also was the freshman girls coach at West Catholic for seven years
* Led Catholic Central to the 2009-10 MHSAA State Championship
* Played collegiately at both Lake Superior State & Aquinas
What They Are Saying About Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate:
"Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate is a tremendous hire for Ferris State University. Her enthusiasm and passion is infectious and will transcend in every phase of the program. Colleen's teams have always been mentally tough, hard working, competitive and well coached. Her ties to the west side of the state as well as the state of Michigan will be an asset on the recruiting trails."
- Suzy Merchant, Head Women's Basketball Coach, Michigan State University
"I'm looking forward to working with Colleen on an everyday basis. She's had outstanding results throughout her career in the Grand Rapids area and will be a great fit at Ferris State. I expect to see both of our teams right at the top of the conference for many years to come."
- Bill Sall, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Ferris State University
"We quickly learned that Colleen is a person of tremendous character and an outstanding motivator with great passion, energy and an unquestionable commitment to a game and profession that she truly loves and respect. It was apparent that she is very comfortable with who she is, what she believes in and what has allowed her to be successful as a head coach. She connected with everyone she met and I believe her to be an ideal fit for Ferris State. We look for Colleen to have a long and very successful career as our women's basketball coach."
- Perk Weisenburger, Athletics Director, Ferris State University
"Colleen will be a tremendous asset to Ferris State University and the GLIAC. Her ties as a high school coach along with her regional connections will create a wealth of excitement and we look forward to watching her progress in the years ahead."
- Dell Robinson, Commissioner, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
"I'm excited for Colleen and her family. It was a great decision by Ferris State University. She will do an outstanding job and bring a ton of passion to the position. I believe she'll build great relationships and have an outstanding career."
- Todd Kolster, Athletics Director, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
"Colleen is a tireless worker and a players coach who will build tremendous relationships. Her expectactions will be high both on and off the court in terms of conduct and the way her players carry themselves. She will represent the university extremely well."
- Mark Thomas, Athletics Director, Grand Rapids Northview High School
Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate Tabbed As Head Coach