FSU football mourns the death of Schoen

FENTON Twp. — Ferris State University and its football program are mourning the death of former Bulldog linebacker Chad Schoen, who drowned on Wednesday in Lake Fenton.

According to the Fenton Tri County Times, dive teams recovered the body of Schoen, 25, of Flat Rock, who went missing Wednesday evening. Schoen, who graduated from Ferris State in 2010, reportedly dove from a pontoon on Lake Fenton and never resurfaced. Schoen’s body was recovered around 3 p.m. on Thursday. After being identified by family members, Schoen’s body was transported to Hurley Medical Center in Flint for an autopsy.

Schoen’s body was recovered in the northern area of Lake Fenton in water 70-feet deep.

SCHOEN

Former Ferris State football coach Jeff Pierce was shocked by Schoen’s death, describing the former Bulldog as a “quality guy” and an “overachiever” in the program.

“He was a great guy and he was very hard working,” he said. “He not only made the commitment to improve himself on the football field, but he was in the process of finishing his certification to become a strength and conditioning coach, because he wanted to help young people.”

Fire Chief Ryan Volz said a group of young people were on a pontoon in the north end of Lake Fenton not too far from the Lake Fenton Sailing Club, the Tri County Times reported. The group, out celebrating the Fourth of July, were jumping and diving in the water to cool off.

A call to 911 was made at 9:09 p.m. Wednesday, after Schoen did not resurface. Dive teams began searching for Schoen at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night and they searched until 12:45 a.m. Authorities resumed the search the next morning at 9 a.m. The total search time was more than nine hours.

Schoen played linebacker for Ferris State from 2005-09 before graduating with a degree in the Recreation Leadership and Management program.

As a senior, Schoen ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 54, including one tackle for loss a sack and two fumble recoveries. He appeared in all 11 games as a junior, recording 10 tackles for the Bulldogs.

Pierce was in attendance for Sunday’s visitation of Schoen, along with a number of

former Bulldog players. He said the former linebacker was a quiet individual who was always interested in helping young people — including volunteering time to help young wrestlers in the Big Rapids High School program after graduating from FSU.

“I take my hat off to someone who does that,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that there’s no real reason or answer for it. It’s very sad.”

Ferris State University offered the following statement regarding the passing of Schoen:

Ferris State University is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chad Schoen, a 2010 graduate of our university’s Recreation Leadership and Management program and a former member of our Bulldog football program, from 2005 through 2009.

As a university community, we send our heartfelt condolences to the Schoen family and friends during this time of sadness.

We want our university community to know that Renee Vander Myde, at (231) 591-5968 or ext. 5968 on campus, and other members of our staff of personal counselors are available to provide grief counseling and support to anyone in our campus community affected by the loss of Chad.

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