Quiet strength

Ferris women’s head coach quietly keeps reputation of being victorious

Ferris State University has trusted Tia Brandel-Wilhelm for 18 years as the head coach of the women’s volleyball program.

Brandel-Wilhelm is the Bulldogs’ fifth head coach in team history and has brought measurable success to the program by guiding the ladies to eight NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances.

Ferris women’s volleyball has a total of 19 winning seasons, 17 of the seasons being consecutive, all lead by Brandel-Wilhelm.

Within Brandel-Wilhelm’s 20 seasons, she has earned her spot as one of the most respected coaches in the nation, with a 488-196 career as a collegiate head coach.

“Coach Tia cares about who we are and who we become as we go through her program,” senior libero Brandie Merren said. “She wants us to be successful volleyball players, but she also wants us to become successful people in life.”

In the 2011 campaign, Brandel-Wilhelm was honored as Ferris’ all-time winningest coach and has been ranked on the Division II active coaches total victories list.

“My favorite qualities would have to be how passionate she is about Ferris State and our volleyball program,” senior middle hitter Angi Kent said. “She wants to see our team but also our university succeed.”

Brandel-Wilhelm was voted as the GLIAC’s Coach-of-the-Year for the third time in 2011 after she led Ferris to the program’s first divisional title since the GLIAC was split into North and South divisions.

Not only has Brandel-Wilhelm reached success in coaching, but she earned a master’s in business administration from West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) after receiving her undergraduate degree in business administration and psychology from Alma College in 1990. She was also an all-conference first-team scholar athlete while competing in both volleyball and track at Alma.

Brandel-Wilhelm had her first coaching job for two seasons at Alma High School while attending Alma College and then became head coach for three seasons at WVWC where she lead the Bobcats to an overall record of 118-20.

Before leaving WVWC, Brandel-Wilhelm had an 80 game conference winning streak, and was selected WVIAC and NAIA Mid-South Region Coach-of-the-Year in 1993.

Unfortunately, Brandel-Wilhelm could not be reached for comment at the time this story was written.

The Bulldogs have been outstanding through the first half of their 2013 season with a conference record of 8-1 leading them to an overall record of 13-4.