Another year, another record with over 20 games in the win column for Ferris.
Thursday, Feb. 21, the Bulldogs beat Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opponent University of Purdue Northwest, which was the Bulldogs’ 20th win on the season. This win may have been overlooked, as it was just another Thursday away game that the Bulldogs came up on the winning side. However, that 20th win marks the fifth straight season that the Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team achieved 20 or more wins in a season, which is a program record.
“I just think we had a lot of great players and a lot of great coaches,” Ferris basketball head coach Andy Bronkema said. “Any time you have a record like that, it is just a testament to the players that you have had and the coaches that you had on your staff, and hopefully we can keep rolling.”
The Bulldogs have been under Bronkema as their head coach for the past six seasons. During his first season as head coach in the 2013-14 season, they posted a record of 10-16, which was the worst season the Bulldogs had since the 2007-08 season. After his subpar inaugural season, Bronkema’s mentality made the program completely turnaround and be in the winning position that they are still in. Since going 10-16, Bronkema’s teams have posted an overall record 133-36 throughout the past five seasons.
“He is a crazy intense guy, in a good way,” Ferris junior wing Greg Williams said. “He loves his job, you can tell he is super passionate. He is almost a little obsessed about it, which you kind of have to be to be a good coach. He is obsessed about doing the right thing and being a good coach and his philosophy is kind of like, wins are good but it is about being good young men, pretty much, building us to be good husbands and be good fathers.”
Bronkema said after he became the head coach, he did not change that much. He kept the momentum going and was fortunate to have really good players and coaches in his program.
Along with Bronkema, there are two players on the roster that have been a part of the team for the past five winning seasons: Ferris senior post Andrew Meacham and Ferris senior wing Markese Mayfield. Not only did these two play a key role in the road to the 2018 national championship, but were also important to accomplishing the winning records.
“It is a great feeling, it is an amazing feeling,” Meacham said. “Me and Markese have been here for all five years and going from redshirts, going from scout team to part of the rotation and helping the team out wherever it can be. It is just a great feeling to be a part of that.”