Strong leadership

Women’s basketball rallying behind head coach

A good head coach can have a huge impact for a sports team and the Ferris women’s basketball team knows that to be true.

Ferris women’s basketball head coach Kendra Faustin became the seventh head coach in Bulldog history in 2015-2016. Seventh women’s basketball head coach? Seventh female head coach? She is definitely not just the seventh head coach ever lol. Faustin brought eight years of NCAA Division I coaching experience from Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., when she joined the Bulldogs.

“I don’t think there’s a huge difference in the levels,” Faustin said. “The biggest difference is that I work a lot harder here because I don’t have a full staff of five. Really, Ferris is an unbelievable place to recruit to so that’s actually easier.”

In the five seasons before Faustin took the coaching reigns, the Dawgs battled to a 68-66 record, making two GLIAC tournaments, including a North Division championship in 2012. That same year, Ferris earned a bid to the NCAA DII tournament.

Since Faustin took over in the 2015-2016 season, the Dawgs are 39-62, excluding this season. Ferris struggled during Faustin’s first two seasons leading to a combined 10-44 record. In the two seasons since, Faustin flipped the program and led both the 2017-2018 and 2018- 2019 teams to GLIAC tournaments, crediting her players with the success.

“This group of seniors, the seniors that graduated last year, and the seniors before them have built this program into something that they believe in,” Faustin said. “It’s not about what I do. My job is just to help guide them to where they want to go.”

Faustin emphasized that her success in recent seasons would not be possible if not for “good players” and an “unbelievable staff.” Her “amazing, supportive husband” who loves her through everything was also a huge part of what she attributed her success to.

With three games remaining this season, Faustin’s Bulldogs are 18-7 and sit atop the GLIAC North Division. Ferris has already clinched a GLIAC tournament appearance, making it three years in a row Faustin has brought her team there. The Dawgs are also hopeful they will play in the NCAA DII tournament for the first time under Faustin.

For Ferris junior guard Adrienne Anderson, Faustin’s determination and tough mentality were the traits she most admired about her coach.

“She pushes us to do our best and she doesn’t let us settle,” Anderson said. “At this point in the season, everybody’s tired, somewhat injured – doesn’t matter. She’s still pushing us to do our best and that’s why we’re able to gut it out and win games. She’s never satisfied which is something that I, as a player, admire.”

Ferris senior forward Lilly George most appreciated the journey her coach brought her on since her freshman year. From starting her career with a 5-22 record to playing three straight seasons in the GLIAC tournament, George was appreciative of everything her coach did for her.

“She pushes us, not only as basketball players, but as people every single day,” George said. “She brings us together as a team and just really has all of our best interests in mind. She believes in all of us.”

Faustin’s Bulldogs will continue their postseason hunt with two games on the road against Purdue Northwest University Thursday, Feb. 20, and Wisconsin-Parkside University Saturday, Feb. 22, before returning home for the regular season finale Thursday, Feb. 27, against Lake Superior State University