Start of something new

Women’s basketball hires new coaching staff

One season removed from a conference title and their first NCAA DII tournament berth since 2012, Ferris women’s basketball welcomes two new faces to its coaching staff.

Before COVID-19 abruptly ended the Bulldogs’ 2020 national tournament aspirations, Ferris posted a 21-8 record throughout the 2019-2020 season. Their regular season success earned the Bulldogs an outright GLIAC title and a seven seed in the NCAA DII national tournament.

When the Bulldogs next take the court, they will look to build off last year’s success. This time, they will be coached by Kurt Westendorp.

Westendorp becomes the eighth head coach in program history and replaces Kendra Faustin. After five years with the Bulldogs, Faustin accepted the athletic director’s job at Comstock Park High School and leaves Ferris with an overall record of 60-70, one conference title, and one national tournament berth.

Westendorp served as the Bulldogs’ assistant coach from 2010-2012 before moving on to coach at the Division I level at Valparaiso University for four years. He has spent the last four years as head coach of William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif. During his time as head coach of the Warriors, he flipped the program from the bottom of the NAIA into a successful contender.

While at William Jessup University, Westendorp led the Warriors to the program’s first ever NAIA Division I national tournament. He also led the team to consecutive twenty-win seasons while winning the most games in a single season in program history and notching the Warrior’s first ever Top-25 national ranking.

Through four seasons with the Warriors, Westendorp became the winningest coach in program history, tallying 64 total wins.

In his earlier stint with the Bulldogs, Ferris posted a school record 23 wins in 2011-2012, winning the GLIAC North and reaching the NCAA DII national tournament, the program’s most recent tournament berth before last season.

Faustin and the Bulldogs trended up at the end of last season. Now, Westendorp will look to build on that success in the coming seasons.

Ferris also welcomed a new assistant coach to the Bulldog community when they hired Jasmyn Walker. Walker, a former basketball star from Muskegon Mona Shores high school and Valparaiso and Western Michigan Universities, will assist Westendorp as the Bulldogs look to build on the success of last season.

Both Walker’s mother and father played collegiate basketball at Ferris and are members of the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame.

Last season, Walker assisted head coach Rick Albro at fellow GLIAC member school Davenport University. Before her one season as a coach, Walker notched over 1000 career point during her career at both Valparaiso (2014-2016) and Western Michigan (2016-2018).

The Bulldogs return eight players from last year’s conference winning team. Ferris graduated four seniors and will look to their new recruits and returning players to fill the void left by the seniors.

After a devastating end to the 2019-2020 season due to COVID-19, the Bulldogs cannot step onto the court until at least 2021. However, with last year’s success fresh in their minds and a new coaching staff, the Bulldogs will look to get back to winning when they are able to take the court again.