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Football, Business Administration Alumni Brian and Jeff Carmody Named Ferris' Homecoming Grand Marshals

Brian and Jeff CarmodyJeff Carmody (left) and his brother, Brian (right) former Ferris State University defensive backs and graduates of the Business Administration program will serve as grand marshals for 2019 Homecoming activities. The annual parade through downtown Big Rapids begins at noon, the Homecoming football game against Northern Michigan kicks off at 3 p.m.

They both wore the No. 5 jersey on Ferris football rosters and followed the same degree path in the university’s College of Business. Now, Brian and Jeff Carmody will share duties as grand marshals during Ferris’ 2019 Homecoming celebration Saturday, Sept. 28.

Brian earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1994 and Jeff completed his studies in 1999. Brian serves as Chief Operating Officer for JK&T Wings, Inc., which owns and operates 42 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in Michigan, Massachusetts and Louisiana. That roster includes the Big Rapids Buffalo Wild Wings, which opened nearly 10 years ago. Brian said his learning in Business Administration and his work at Casey McNab’s, a restaurant once located near campus, offered immeasurable experience. He would later join his father, Jim, and business partner Kent Ward to operate their first Buffalo Wild Wings location in Grand Rapids.>

“I feel what I learned in the College of Business and in a variety of roles at Casey’s helped me be well rounded,” Brian said. “I felt comfortable as a college graduate making my start in the restaurant business. We had a motto from our football days, ‘EPEP’, which meant ‘Every Player, Every Play.’ It has been kind of co-opted for our business, ‘Every Guest, Every Shift, Every Day’, so we can provide a great experience at each location.”>

Jeff, who is JK&T Wings’ West Michigan regional manager, agreed that his variety of experiences on the Ferris campus still resonate with him.>

“I live in Rockford, so I can be at our Big Rapids location in about half an hour,” Jeff said. “Brian and I were residents of this city and part of the Ferris campus. We are glad that our management here is active in the community, with fundraisers and other responsibilities. It is also gratifying that Ferris students who worked for us while earning their degrees have moved into management roles in our company.”>

Both Carmody brothers said the invitation to serve as a Homecoming 2019 grand marshal came as a pleasant surprise.>

“We have been busy at our jobs, recently. But I expect many of the Ferris teammates we saw at the Division II National Championship game will probably be with us again for Homecoming,” Brian said. “I have been looking forward to it.”>

“It is an unbelievable honor, and something of a surprise,” Jeff said. “It feels good to come back and be able to support our university.”>

A visit to the Ferris campus on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to prepare for the 2019 Homecoming afforded the Carmodys the opportunity to exemplify the theme for this year’s celebration, “Bark with Pride.”>

“When you were invested in your athletic career and education, certain things pass by quickly,” Jeff said. “It will be great to see old friends and share great memories.”>

“I am so impressed by the growth of campus, especially with all the new buildings,” Brian said. “It is nice to take in its beauty again because it is so gorgeous. Our experience here was the backbone of our professional careers. We have not lost sight of that.”>

Ferris’ 93rd Homecoming schedule reaches its peak with the annual parade through downtown Big Rapids, which will step off at noon on Saturday, Sept. 28. At 3 p.m., the nationally second-ranked Ferris football team will look to remain undefeated at home when they host Northern Michigan. The six-day schedule of 2019 Homecoming events is part of the 135th-anniversary celebration for Ferris, founded in 1884.>