Head Coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm
Tia Brandel-Wilhelm and the Ferris State University women’s volleyball program are deeply intertwined as the Bulldog head coach embarks on her 13th year at FSU for the 2008 season.
Since becoming the program’s fifth head coach in June 1996, Brandel-Wilhelm has resurrected the program by guiding the Bulldogs to five NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances, which includes four of the last five years.
Success and Brandel-Wilhelm have become synonomous as Ferris State recorded the program’s 10th consecutive winning campaign in 2007 as Bulldogs attained double-digits in victories for the 27th consecutive year with a 20-10 overall record.
In 2004, Ferris State claimed its ninth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championship after winning the league’s annual postseason tournament for the first-time ever.
FSU reached the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament under Brandel-Wilhelm in 2002. During the 1999 campaign (Nov. 5), Brandel-Wilhelm registered her 200th career coaching victory in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 home league win over Grand Valley State. Ferris also finished runner-up at the GLIAC Tournament for the third time in the Brandel-Wilhelm era during the 2001 season. She notched her 300th all-time victory in 2004 and enters the 2008 season ranked 22nd in best winning percentage among the nation's Division II active coaches with a 371-145 (.719) career mark in 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Her 371 career wins represents a tie for 22nd place on the Division II active coaches total victories list.
Through her hard work and dedication, Brandel-Wilhelm continues to earn her place among the nation’s most respected collegiate coaches. Faced with the task of rebuilding the Bulldogs’ tradition-rich program in her first season, Brandel-Wilhelm proceeded to direct the Bulldogs to a 19-12 overall record and a top 25 national ranking. In the last eight seasons, Brandel-Wilhelm has coached Ferris to an impressive 199-86 overall record (.698). She was voted as the GLIAC’s Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in 2002 by her peers after leading Ferris to a second-place finish in the league’s North Division.
Brandel-Wilhelm’s resume demonstrates a penchant for winning. Prior to joining FSU, she served as head coach for three seasons (1993-95) at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W. Va. Under Brandel-Wilhelm’s tutelage, the Bobcats racked up a 118-20 overall record, captured three West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) and regional titles, made two NAIA national tournament appearances, and placed fifth at the 1995 NCAA Division II Championships.
Brandel-Wilhelm left WVWC with an active streak of 80 conference victories. In 1993, she was selected WVIAC and NAIA Mid-South Region Coach-of-the-Year after guiding her team to an impressive 40-11 overall mark in her initial campaign.
Prior to being named head coach at WVWC, Brandel-Wilhelm served as an assistant coach for one season and a graduate assistant for two. She also assisted with West Virginia Wesleyan’s track and softball teams.
She earned a master’s in business administration from WVWC after receiving her undergraduate degree in business administration and psychology from Alma (Mich.) College in 1990.
Brandel-Wilhelm, who competed in both volleyball and track at Alma, was an all-conference first-team scholar athlete. While attending Alma, she coached volleyball for two years at Alma (Mich.) High School.
A native of Whitehall, Mich., Brandel-Wilhelm is accredited as a level II coach by the United States Volleyball Association. Brandel-Wilhelm, who is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), also holds positions on the NCAA National Volleyball and AVCA Division II Volleyball Coaches Committees.
Brandel-Wilhelm is married to Dale Wilhelm, a volunteer assistant coach with the Bulldog women's volleyball program. The couple resides in Big Rapids along with their daughter, Ivie, and stepson, Allen. The newest addition to the family is a son, Isaac, who was born on July 16, 2007.