Friday, May 22, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Ferris State

Located in the community of Big Rapids, Michigan, throughout the late 80's & early 90's, Ferris State was a team to be reckoned with within the ranks of NCAA Division II wrestling.

Jim Miller 
Not to be confused with the Jim Miller that was a standout at Northern Iowa & the legendary coach of Wartburg, this Jim Miller was legend in his own right.  As a high school wrestler, Miller never qualified for the high school state championships. Yet he was able to take the Bulldog of Ferris State to five top 10 NCAA Division II finishes, including claiming runner-up honors at the 1989 championships.  If you're looking for testimony that sometimes those who themselves didn't excel at the highest levels, yet have the knowledge & ability to lead others, here you go.

Tim Smelser
118 lbs
A two time state champion from Owosso high school, Smelser had an outstanding career for the Bulldogs.  A winner of two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (GLIAC) & three regional titles, Smelser took All American status on three occasions.  In 1981 he placed fifth at both the NAIA championships & the NCAA Division II championships. He placed fifth again in Division II in 1982. 
Forrest Brown
190 lbs 
A two time All American for the bulldogs, Brown took fifth at the 1981 NAIA championships & placed fifth again in NCAA Division II in 1983.

Brad Morris
167 lbs 
After finishing in second place at the 1984 Michigan high school state championships as a junior for Mott, Morris missed out on most of his senior season due to injury.  As a result he was looked over by many but Coach Miller thought that he recruiting.  He more than proved him right.

Accumulating 125 victories during his career as a bulldog, Morris won four GLIAC titles & made the NCAA Division II finals in both his sophomore & senior seasons. He finished in fourth place as a junior.   In his senior season, he also placed fifth at the prestigious Midlands.

Gary Hoopes
150 lbs 
Having the perfect name for a life on the court, Hoopes instead found his calling on the mat.  He finished in seventh place at the 1989 NCAA Division II tournament, taking third place honors in 1991.

Paul Jungck
190 lbs 
A two time Academic All American, Paul Jungck got it done on both the mat and in the classroom.  As a wrestler he won two Midwest Regional titles, making All American in 1984 with a third place finish at the NCAA Division II championships & with a sixth place finish in 1985. His junior season performance of 45-6, was the most wins of anyone in a single season as a bulldog.

Doug Chapman
190 lbs 
Owner of Hyperfit USA, Doug Chapman was a standout on the Bulldog wrestling team.  At the NCAA Division II championships he placed third in 1987, fourth in 1988 & second in 1989.

Kurt Johnson
158 lbs 
A two time state champion & four time state place winner for Morenci high school, Kurt Johnson was a two time All American for Ferris State placing third in 1988 & eighth in 1989.

Doug Mooney
177 lbs 
A graduate of Nelson High school, Mooney had an outstanding career as a bulldog.  Winner of three GLIAC & three MidWest Regional titles, Mooney made the NCAA Division II finals in 1989, taking third place honors in 1988 & 1990.  Having dual citizenship, Mooney represented Canada in various international competitions.

David Surofcheck
A four time All American for the Bulldogs, Surofcheck was sixth, fifth, fourth, third at the NCAA Division II championships between 1990 and 1993.

Dan Hutcheson
167 lbs 
Another great in Bulldog history, Dan Hutcheson was a three time NCAA Division II All American placing eighth in 1991, fifth in 1992 & taking runner-up honors in 1993.

Post graduation, he became a coach, teacher & administrator at Howell High school.  He demanded the best from Howell attendants as both students & athletics.  He set a precedent of an expectation for the schools athletics to average a grade point average of 3.5.  Some thought his ideas were ludicrous, but at the next evaluation they came close at a 3.38.   

Hutcheson then took a a position as Associate director of both wrestling and tennis in the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

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