Big Rapids, Mich. – A pair of Ferris State University football alums and longtime supporters of the Bulldogs have been tabbed as “honorary coaches” for this Friday’s (April 22) Crimson and Gold Spring Football Game at Top Taggart Field.
Bulldog alums Scott Fish and Jeff Schmitz will help guide the Red and White teams, respectively, for the game, which kicks off at 3 p.m. (ET). The contest will take place in conjunction with a special national championship celebration.
A member of the Bulldog Football program in the early 1980’s, Fish also served as a student assistant coach during his collegiate days. Since his graduation from FSU in 1984, he’s gone on to become a commercial real estate developer and is the owner and principal of UP Development, headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. His company has spearheaded major redevelopment projects with more than 25 years of experience focused primarily in urban communities in the Southeast and Midwest while expanding into high growth markets nationwide. Additionally, he has been a major contributor to several Bulldog projects and a strong supporter and donor to Bulldog Football.
Meanwhile, Schmitz, a native of Rochester Hills, played for the Bulldogs from 1991-95, during FSU’s memorable championship run of the 1990’s under head coach Jeff Pierce. He currently serves as the President and CEO of JS Capitol Group, an award-winning global company in the construction industry with more than 100 completed projects based in Rochester Hills, and has been a longtime ambassador for the Bulldogs and Ferris State Football. He was instrumental in the planning for the Bulldogs’ Center for Athletics Performance Project and has been a regular supporter of the Bulldogs since his collegiate playing days.
“These two guys exemplify what Ferris State Football is all about and we’re looking forward to having them on the sidelines for Friday’s game,” said FSU head coach Tony Annese. “They’ve been such strong supporters of our program and we’re thankful for all the efforts they’ve made. We’re excited for the day and the opportunity to celebrate all that’s been accomplished.”
Admission to Friday’s spring game is free and gates will open one hour prior to kickoff. Along with watching the spring game as the Bulldogs wrap up spring drills, fans will have an opportunity to take photos with the NCAA D2 National Championship trophy that will be on display at the stadium throughout the contest. A special ceremony will also take place to recognize and honor the team.
FSU has partnered with the university’s Entertainment Unlimited organization and the campus Center for Student Involvement for special promotional activities surrounding the day’s events including a football toss game, inflatable tug of war, an obstacle course and food. In addition, national championship merchandise will also be available for purchase.
As in years past, the annual Crimson & Gold Spring Game is also slated to be broadcast live on the Bulldog Sports Network and local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston on the call starting with pregame coverage at 2:30 p.m. It will be streamed online with both live audio and a free live video webcast courtesy of the Ferris State Television & Digital Media Production program at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The live radio call will also be carried over the stadium public address system for the fans in attendance.
The annual spring game will provide fans with an opportunity to watch the Bulldogs for the first time since FSU’s run to the national championship last fall in a game-like situation under Annese and his staff. The spring game will feature a modified scoring and timing format and provide an opportunity for many of FSU’s younger players to take the field for the first time while wrapping up spring drills.
This past season, along with capturing the D2 National Championship with a perfect 14-0 record, the Bulldogs also claimed a third-straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championship and stretched their regular-season winning streak to 38 consecutive games and counting.
FSU has reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals four times in the past five seasons of action and ranks as the country’s winningest program over the past seven full seasons in D2 Football.
The Bulldogs have won each of the last three GLIAC Championships in unbeaten fashion and reached the national quarterfinals five consecutive years, which is the longest streak in the country. Over the past three seasons of on-field action, the Bulldogs have compiled a 41-2 mark.