Michigan native Steve Brockelbank has been named Ferris State University’s new athletics director. Brockelbank’s appointment was announced today (Sept. 10) by Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Bachmeier.
Currently serving as vice president and director of athletics at Muskingum University, in New Concord, Ohio, Brockelbank is a 1991 graduate of Eastern Michigan University. In addition, he holds master’s degrees from two other Michigan institutions, Grand Valley State University and Spring Arbor College. During the last 30 years at the high school and college levels, his track record of success as a coach and athletic administrator helped Brockelbank emerge as Ferris’ top choice.
The culmination of a comprehensive nationwide search, Brockelbank replaces Perk Weisenburger, Ferris’ current athletics director, retiring in October after more than a decade leading a department that includes 17 varsity athletics programs. Brockelbank officially starts as athletics director on Monday, Oct. 11.
“We are thrilled to welcome an athletic director with the experience and track record of success that we have found in Steve,” Bachmeier said. “Ferris State Athletics has raised the bar for success, in athletic competition and the classroom, and we’re confident that Steve is the right person to take on leadership responsibilities in guiding our athletics efforts. In a pool of strong candidates, Steve stood out and made a great impression on our search committee and others involved in this hiring process.”
Ferris Athletics features nine intercollegiate varsity sports for women and eight for men. Sixteen sports teams participate at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). In addition, men’s ice hockey competes at the NCAA Division I level and returns this year to the new-look Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).
Brockelbank was announced as the new vice president and athletic director of Muskingum University in January 2018 after serving as an associate athletic director at Miami University, a Division I institution from the Mid-American Conference, based in Oxford, Ohio. At Muskingum, an NCAA Division III institution, Brockelbank leads a department with 55 coaches and staff members and manages all budget and personnel decisions. Serving on the president’s cabinet and senior leadership team at Muskingum, Brockelbank also contributes to the university’s enrollment and advancement efforts.
“I am honored and grateful to serve Ferris State University as the next Director of Athletics,” Brockelbank said. “I want to thank President Eisler, Vice President Jim Bachmeier, and the search committee for this opportunity. It was evident in the interview process that Ferris is committed to building champions academically and athletically. Ferris impacts students and student-athletes for a lifetime.”
Brockelbank competed as a three-year letter winner on the Eastern Michigan University football team and was an All-Mid-American Conference first-team selection in 1989 and a second-team pick in 1990. His success earned his spot on EMU’s 1980s All-Decade Team. Following his playing career, he was the head junior varsity football coach at Kenowa Hills High School, from 1991-92, before he moved up to the college level to become an offensive line coach at Wayne State University. He made another stop at Hillsdale College, where he was a coach for the Chargers football team and served as director of athletic facilities. He has had two tenures (1999-2004 and 2007-2014) at Ludington High School, serving as a teacher, varsity football coach, assistant principal, athletic director and more. From February 2004-June 2007, he joined the football coaching staff at GVSU, where he was assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator winning national championships in 2005 and 2006. At Miami University (Ohio), Brockelbank served as associate athletic director for communications and administration and was associate athletic director for football, ice hockey, and women’s basketball.
Brockelbank looks forward to strengthening Ferris’ culture of athletics success and being a Bulldog.
“I look forward to fostering the championship culture and tradition at Ferris State,” he said. “I am committed to supporting our student-athletes in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.”
A native of Jenison, Michigan, Steve and his wife, Heidi, have three daughters: Hayley,
who is married to her husband, John, with a granddaughter, Lillie; Madisyn, who is
married to her husband, Mark; and Morgan.
What They Are Saying About Steve Brockelbank:
Andy Bronkema, head men's basketball coach -
“Steve has an impressive resume and his experiences make him a great fit for Ferris State. Through the interview process, he proved to be the type of person that we all look forward to working with. I believe this hire was treated with great priority by the University and the committee did a wonderful job.”
Bob Daniels, head ice hockey coach -
“I’m very excited to have Steve join our department and University. He has big shoes
to fill, but brings a wealth of experience in a variety of leadership positions. I
look forward to working with Steve as we continue to build on our department’s achievements,
both on the field and in the classroom.”
Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, head volleyball coach -
“This is an incredible time for the Bulldogs. We have a chance to celebrate the outstanding leadership of Perk Weisenburger, who led Ferris State Athletics to a new level of expectations. At the same time, we have an opportunity to welcome another fantastic leader. Steve Brockelbank will be just the right leader to inspire the Bulldogs to rise together. He has a variety of experiences in coaching and athletic administration. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Bulldog family.”
Tony Annese, head football coach –
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with someone of Steve’s caliber as we continue to build upon the great success we have had over the past decade under Perk Weisenburger’s leadership. He brings strong ties to West Michigan and tremendous experience working with student-athletes and programs, which will be invaluable for our department moving forward. We look forward to working with him in helping Bulldog Athletics continue to achieve sustained championship success.”