Ferschweiler, 44, recently concluded his fourth season behind the bench at Western Michigan University, where he helped the team to a 19-16-5 record. The Rochester, Minn., native served as an assistant coach with the Broncos from 2010-13 before being promoted to associate head coach for the 2013-14 season.
In his inaugural campaign with Western Michigan in 2010-11, Ferschweiler served under the charge of current Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill and helped the team to a 19-13-10 record, more than doubling the win total from the Broncos’ previous season. Blashill and Ferschweiler’s squad finished fourth in the CCHA with a conference record of 10-9-9 and earned its first bid to the CCHA championship game since 1996 after defeating the top-seeded Michigan, 5-2, in the CCHA semifinals.
During his second season with Western Michigan, Ferschweiler assisted the Broncos in earning their first CCHA Tournament championship since 1986. Under his guidance, current Red Wings defenseman and former Griffin Danny DeKeyser was named Second Team All-CCHA and Second Team All-American.
In 2004, Ferschweiler took on the role of general manager and head coach of the Russell Stover Under-18 team of the Midwest Elite Hockey League. In six seasons at the helm of the U18 team, Ferschweiler established the club as one of the country’s elite hockey programs and led the team to numerous Midwest Regional Championships. Most recently, he helped Russell Stover to a third-place finish at the 2010 USA Hockey Tier I 18U National Tournament.
On top of his coaching duties with Russell Stover, Ferschweiler simultaneously acted as the director of hockey for the Kansas City Stars youth organization from 2005-09 and helped train coaches at both the travel and house level.
“I am excited to add Pat to our staff,” said Blashill. “Having worked together at WMU, I know firsthand that Pat is an outstanding hockey coach. He excels in developing players, and he has a great hockey mind and a great ability to communicate his thoughts. Most importantly, Pat relates to his players and builds relationships that extend beyond his time coaching them. He’ll be a great asset to the Griffins and Red Wings organizations.”
Prior to his coaching career, Ferschweiler enjoyed an eight-year playing career spanning the International Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and British Ice Hockey Superleague. Most notably, he spent six seasons as a right wing with the IHL’s Kansas City Blades, who were owned by Griffins President & CEO Dan DeVos. Ferschweiler was one of the most prominent players in Blades history, compiling 159 points (46-113—159) in 355 games to rank among the franchise’s all-time leaders in games played (4th), assists (8th) and points (9th).
Ferschweiler is a 1993 graduate of Western Michigan, where he spent three seasons (1990-93) with the Broncos and accumulated 95 points (30-65—95) in 116 collegiate games. In his senior campaign, he earned honors as the Rob Hodge Most Valuable Player after amassing a career-best 15 goals and 20 assists.