Unlikely path leads Ferriter to rise through coaching ranks

Mike Ferriter wasn’t expecting to go into coaching when his playing career ended.

Griz-Valparaiso-Mike-FerriterThe Montana wide receiver great, a human biology major, planned to take a year off after graduation with eventual plans to go to work in the health sciences field. Incidentally, his own health pushed him down a different path: During the break he was surprised with a testicular cancer diagnosis.

“That kind of just threw me a little bit of a curveball,” Ferriter said. “I didn’t really know what I was going to do. It obviously set me back, shook a lot of things up, you know. My whole life, things had been, for the most part, pretty smooth.”

One day, undergoing chemotherapy, Ferriter got a call from his former college coach, Bobby Hauck and offensive coordinator Rob Phenicie. The two had moved on from Montana to UNLV, and they had a graduate assistant position to fill.

Would he be interested?

“It was something I never really planned on doing, [but] I do believe things happen for a reason, and I think the cancer scare was my sign to get into coaching,” Ferriter said. “Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else other than coaching college football.”

Now fully healthy — and a year removed from a three-year stint as Montana’s receivers coach — Ferriter is Idaho State’s offensive coordinator and one of the hottest young coaching prospects in the Big Sky.



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