Records: Ferris State football coach shook player

Ferris State football coach Tony Annese shook a player and

struck two others on the shoulder pads in a locker room outburst

that led to an eight-day suspension last month, records show.

The documents, obtained by (

under the Freedom of Information Act, indicate the Big Rapids

school launched an investigation after a complaint by a ”concerned


Annese told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he was trying

to motivate his team during the tirade, which came at halftime of

the Oct. 26 game against Michigan Tech, which the Bulldogs came

from behind to win 30-27.

But Annese’s response to the Ferris State investigation showed a

”lack of understanding” regarding the inappropriateness of his

behavior, according to a letter from athletic director Perk

Weisenburger that summarized the findings to the coach and

university administrators.

”You did not express remorse for these actions, but rather

tried to justify them,” wrote Weisenburger, who warned Annese that

any similar outburst would result in him being fired.

”There can be no serious dispute that your actions on October

26, 2013, were inappropriate,” the athletic director wrote.

The school redacted the names of the players struck during the

incident, but said that one was hit three times and the strikes

”were with a fist and were with great force.”

”My motives were purely intended to lift my team, get them

excited to play a good second half,” Annese told the AP. ”By no

means did I mean to hurt anyone.

”There was no confrontation whatsoever.”

Annese, whose team was 8-3 this season, was suspended with pay

and forced to miss the Bulldogs’ victory at Northwood on Nov.


Information from: The Grand Rapids,