Sports

Ryan Brady hired as head football coach

Ryan Brady will take the helm as head football coach for the upcoming season.

Ryan Brady became SVSU’s seventh head football coach on Thursday, March 21.

After head coach Jim Collins parted ways with the Cardinals after 11 years, the search committee got to work quickly finding the next head coach.

Brady comes from Ferris State, where he was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Brady, who will be introduced at a news conference today at 4 p.m., said he looks forward to getting started with the Cardinals.

“Saginaw Valley has a rich tradition here,” Brady said. “There are great alumni, many great former NFL players, and it’s truly a privilege and an honor to be the head coach here. I’m looking forward to getting started here very soon.”

Brady had been with the Bulldogs since 2012, helping them to solid success over those years.

With an impressive 75-15 overall record over those years, the Bulldogs managed three undefeated regular seasons.

The record was good enough for the team to make it to the NCAA Division II Playoffs each of the last five seasons. They claimed three GLIAC titles in those five years.

FSU reached the national quarterfinals every year for the past three years, making it to the semifinals twice and playing in the NCAA Division II National Championship last season.

Brady has worn several different hats. He has experience as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, offensive line and tight ends coach and co-defensive coordinator at different points during his time with the Bulldogs.

He was also offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Grand Rapids Community College from 2009 to 2011, helping the Raiders to a 30-4 overall record during that time and also coaching the offense to be the highest-scoring offense in the nation for all three of these years.

Brady has several short- and long-term goals for the Cardinal football team.

“Our first goal is for every player to earn a degree,” Brady said. “Our second goal will be to win our first game, our third goal will be to win our second game, and then our third game, and so on. We obviously want to win the GLIAC Championship and make the playoffs, and our ultimate goal here will be to win a National Championship.”

Brady plans to focus on the relationships on the team and player success.

“We’re going to focus on building the culture and developing great relationships with the players as well as developing an outstanding coaching staff,” Brady said.

Brady said SVSU will concentrate on serving its students.

“Our focus will be to serve young people, and love them, and really do everything in our power to help them succeed,” he said. “We want to see that every player has a great experience playing football at Saginaw Valley, and when they look back on their experience here, it will be one of the best five years of their lives.”

As a Chesaning High School graduate, Brady led the Indians to a 1998 State Championship victory from the quarterback position.

He also received first-team all-state honors.

From there, Brady played quarterback for Grand Valley State University.

He led them to the National Championship in 2001 and won the National Championship with the Lakers in 2002. He was the Lakers quarterback coach in 2003 as the Lakers won another National Championship.

In 2004, Brady served as the strength and conditioning coach for Muskegon High School.

Next, he became the head coach at Chesaning High School in 2005. He was named the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Montrose High School in 2006 and served as the head coach for Perry High School in 2008.

Brady earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from SVSU and a bachelor’s degree from GVSU in professional instruction.

Brady is happy to be back where he grew up.

“I’m extremely excited to start with SVSU,” Brady said. “I grew up in Saginaw County, running around Saginaw Valley and the Ryder Center at football and basketball camps here, and it’s just really great to be home.”

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