Courtesy of Rob Bentley, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communications
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - Ferris State University Athletics has officially announced the appointment of Bulldog alum Jared Kelsh, who has been tabbed as the school's head men's and women's track and field/cross country coach after serving this past year as the program's interim coach.
A local native, Kelsh filled in this past year after former head coach and fellow alum Steve Picucci left to become the head coach at NCAA Division I Moorhead State (Ky.) late last summer. Kelsh was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs in both cross country and track from 2004-08 following a standout prep career at Chippewa Hills High School.
As the interim head coach this past year, Kelsh led the Bulldog program as more than 70 student-athletes received Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) All-Academic Team laurels. He also played a key role as standout distance runner Samantha Johnson received All-America accolades and 41 student-athletes established personal records over the past year.
"I'm extremely pleased to name Jared Kelsh as our head coach on a full-time basis," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "Jared did a great job this past year leading our program on short notice and we are confident in his abilities to guide our student-athletes.
"Jared knows our program, our university and the GLIAC well as both an accomplished student-athlete and coach and we're glad he is in a permanent position to continue to move the Ferris State men's and women's programs forward in a positive way," he added.
Kelsh, a former All-GLIAC honoree, previously began his coaching career as an assistant on the FSU staff from 2008 to 2012 following his collegiate career. He continues to hold the school's second-fastest time ever in the outdoor 1,500 meters.
Prior to returning to FSU, Kelsh served as a volunteer assistant on the men's cross country/track and field staff on the NCAA Division I level at the University of Buffalo where he assisted in organizing and running daily workouts along with mentoring student-athletes in mental toughness and racing strategy. He also worked as a personal trainer in the Buffalo area and was the general manager of Blast Fitness. In six years as a collegiate assistant coach, he helped tutor 17 All-Americans, two individual Mid-American Conference (MAC) Champions and three teams advanced to the NCAA National Cross Country Championships.
A six-time All-GLIAC selection as a Bulldog student-athlete, Kelsh was a NCAA Division II National Provisional Qualifier and team MVP numerous times during his FSU career. Prior to his Ferris State career, he was an all-state selection and team captain as a prep runner at Chippewa Hills and also ranked third nationally in the U19 age group at the 2005 USATF Track and Field Junior Nationals. Since completing his collegiate career, he's also competed as a distance and half-marathon runner sponsored by Brooks Sports, Inc.
"I'm thrilled to be at Ferris State and am confident under my leadership that we can continue a history of being competitive at the conference and national levels," said Kelsh. "I believe I can successfully recruit and develop student-athletes to reach their potential. I am dedicated to continuing to build a program that creates pride within the student body and alumni base."