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Saginaw Valley State picks Ryan Brady, ex-GVSU quarterback, as new head coach

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Saginaw Valley State has hired a new football coach.

Saginaw Valley State has a new head football coach.

Ryan Brady, a long-time assistant at state powerhouse Ferris State, was to be officially introduced as head coach in a campus press conference Monday.

Brady takes over for Jim Collins, who was head coach for 11 seasons but departed late last month to take a position on the staff at Division I Army. Collins will be director of player personnel at West Point.

"I cannot express how excited and honored I am to be the head football coach of Saginaw Valley State University," Brady said in a statement released by the school last week. "I look forward to meeting my new players, putting together an outstanding staff and to begin focusing our efforts on spring football. I want Cardinal fans to know it will be our mission to give Saginaw Valley State University a football program that everyone can be proud of. I am eager and excited to get to work."

Brady is well-traveled in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

He arrives from Ferris State, where he was co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for a program that made five consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances, including a berth in the national-championship game in 2018.

He started at Ferris State in 2012 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, working with eventual two-time Harlon Hill Award winner Jason Vander Laan.

Brady then made the switch to defense, then back to offense in 2016 (offensive coordinator, offensive line, tight ends), before again moving back to defense.

Ryan Brady is the new head football coach at Saginaw Valley State.

"Coach Brady emerged as our clear choice at the end of a highly competitive selection process, in which we had several strong candidates, so we are extremely pleased," Saginaw Valley athletics director John Decker said. "Ryan brings the entire package in terms of what we were seeking for a head coach to lead our program, and Cardinal supporters everywhere should be very excited about the future of SVSU football." 

Brady also has worked on the staffs at Grand Valley State, as QBs coach in 2003, aside from several high-school positions (Perry High, Montrose High, Chesaning High, Muskegon High), and three years as the offensive coordinator at Grand Rapids Community College, which had the nation's highest-scoring offense during his tenure. 

He played collegiately at Grand Valley, the quarterback who led the Lakers to the 2001 national-championship game. He was on the roster when the Lakers won it all in 2002.

In high school, he led Chesaning to a Class B state championship in 1998.

Brady has a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley and a master's from Saginaw Valley.

His departure from Ferris State is the latest significant loss for head coach Tony Annese, who lost offensive coordinator Steve Casula to an analyst position at Michigan.

In his 11 seasons, Collins was 65-56, including 58-49 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals made the playoffs three times during that run.

GLIAC football coaches

Ashland: Lee Owens

Davenport: Sparky McEwen

Ferris State: Tony Annese

Grand Valley State: Matt Mitchell

Michigan Tech: Steve Olson

Northern Michigan: Kyle Nystrom

Northwood: Leonard Haynes

Saginaw Valley State: Ryan Brady

Wayne State: Paul Winters

Kapp dies 

In other GLIAC football news, long-time Michigan Tech coach Jim Kapp died earlier this month in Wooster, Ohio. He was 78.

Kapp, who died March 13, was Michigan Tech's head coach from 1969-80, compiling a record of 41-34-2. In 1974, Tech went 9-0.

Before getting into coaching, he earned a master's from Eastern Michigan High School. Kapp's first coaching position was at Rochester High, where he coached football, basketball, and track and field.

His last job was head coach at the College of Wooster from 1981-84.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984