Bulldog Football Program Adds Three New Members To Veteran Staff

Three new faces have joined the Ferris State University football coaching staff as the Bulldogs prepare to embark on their 100th season of varsity competition during the 2008 campaign.

Jeff Pierce
FSU head coach Jeff Pierce has added several new faces to his coaching staff for the 2008 campaign

Prior to the start of fall preseason camp, 14th-year FSU head coach Jeff Pierce filled open positions on the staff with the addition of former Bulldog standout Whitney Bell, longtime collegiate coach Allen Curtiss and Eric Ravellette, who most recently spent the last two seasons as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University. Additionally, Pierce promoted Chris Reese to the defensive backs and video coordinator position following two years as a defensive assistant in the program.

"We're excited to add a great group of coaches to replace some good people who moved on in their careers," Pierce said. "It's always exciting to have new guys who bring new energy and different ideas.

"These guys will all give us an opportunity to be extremely successful and I'm excited with what they will bring to our program."

Bell, who will coach the Bulldogs' defensive line, spent the summer 2008 season as a member of the Arena Football League's (AFL) Grand Rapids Rampage after being signed off the Chicago Rush practice squad. He ran for two touchdowns and had 5.5 tackles as the Rampage reached the AFL Playoff Semifinals. Previously, he spent two seasons (2005-06) with arenafootball2's Green Bay Blizzard and also saw action in the Canadian Football League with the British Columbia Lions. The Sault Ste. Marie native was twice (2003-04) recognized as a first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) performer during his FSU playing career and received Football Gazette All-America Second Team kudos in 2003.

Curtiss will serve as FSU's special teams coordinator and coach the running backs following 20 years on the staff at Bluffton (Ohio) University. While at Bluffton, he coached a number of positions including the defensive line, linebackers and recruiting duties. In 2000, Curtiss led the Bluffton defensive unit to three shutout victories on their way to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) co-championship. After coaching the defensive line from 1988 to 1999, Curtiss took over the linebacking corps in the 2000 season and produced a first-team All-HCAC linebacker each of the last eight campaigns.

Ravellette will be the squad's offensive line coach and handle the recruiting coordinator duties for the Bulldogs. Prior to his two-year stint at Southeast Missouri State, Ravellette served as the tight ends coach at his alma mater, Western Kentucky. He also worked as a graduate assistant at New Mexico State in 2004. As a player at Western Kentucky, Ravellette was a key member of the offensive line that helped WKU to the 2002 Division I-AA National Championship. He appeared in 11 contests his senior season and started in each of the final two playoff games.

Reese spent the last two seasons (2006-07) as a defensive assistant coach at Ferris and worked primarily with the safeties while also assuming various scouting and video-related duties. In 2007, he helped tutor All-GLIAC Second Team cornerback Terrell Heggins after working with a first-team all-league defensive back in Jim Skodak during the 2006 campaign. Prior to Ferris State, Reese played collegiate football under head coach Jeff Zenisek at Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) member Western State from 1999 to 2004 in Grand Junction, Colo.

The Bulldogs' new additions join a staff with several veteran holdovers including Pierce, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Duane Wilson, offensive coordinator Matt McCarthy and kickers/punters coach Rick Williams, all of whom have been on the staff for a number of years. The Bulldogs also return three volunteer assistant coaches with experience in Max Huntoon, Phil Fortier and Bob Maynard.

As in years past, Wilson will coach the linebackers and McCarthy will handle the quarterbacks along with wide receivers in addition to their respective coordinator duties. Fortier and Maynard will assist with the offensive and defensive lines, respectively, while Huntoon will work with the wide receivers on the offensive side.

The Bulldogs posted a 6-5 overall record on the field during the 2007 campaign, which represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under Pierce and marked the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. However, the record was changed to 7-4 overall in the GLIAC standings, reflecting Saginaw Valley State's decision to forfeit four games last campaign. FSU placed tied for fourth in the conference as the school's final league record was 6-4 following the earned forfeit.

Ferris State will kickoff its 100th season of varsity competition Saturday, Aug. 30, against the Tiffin (Ohio) Dragons in a 2:30 p.m. (EDT) non-conference contest at Tiffin, Ohio. The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, then open GLIAC action the following Saturday, Sept. 6, on the road at 1 p.m. (EDT) versus the Ashland Eagles in Ashland, Ohio. FSU's home opener is slated for Saturday, Sept. 13, against the Findlay Oilers with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

Note: For bios and photos of the new coaching staff additions, please visit this link:
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