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Michael Ricketts
Michael Ricketts
Title: Defensive coordinator, Safeties coach
Phone: 616-403-5075
Phone: 616-395-7683
Year: 17th
Previous College: Augustana (Ill.) College 1988, Eastern Illinois University — M.S. Sports Adminstration

The 2015 season will be Mike Ricketts’ 17th season as defensive coordinator with Hope College Football. He also will coach the safeties.

In the 2014 season, Ricketts coached three All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team players: defensive end Stephen Gerger, linebacker Cody Lindemulder and defensive back Kirby Crook. Lindemulder finished second in the MIAA in total tackles, while Gerger tied for second in sacks. The Flying Dutchmen ranked second in scoring defense and opponents' fourth-down conversions, third in rush defense, and fourth in total defense, opponents first downs allowed and sacks. 

During the 2013 season the Flying Dutchmen defense first in sacks, second in scoring, second in opponents fourth down conversions, third in red zone defense, and third in pass defense during MIAA play. The defense was able to contribute to the team being first in turnover margin. Overall the defense was ranked ninth in opponents fourth down conversion, 22nd red zone defense, 25th scoring defense, 35th in Pass Defense Efficiency and 43rd in sacks in the NCAA Division III. Greg Bird, Santino DiCesare, and Cody Lindemulder received All-MIAA First Team honors, while Tim Klaus received Second-Team All-MIAA. Lindemulder was voted MIAA Defensive Player of the Week twice. In MIAA play, Adam Drooger tied for first in forced fumbles, Greg Bird finished second in tackles for loss and fifth in sacks, Lindemulder and Klaus tied for ninth in tackles, while Lindemulder and Drooger tied for fifth in interceptions.

The 2012 Flying Dutchmen ranked first in red zone defense, second in pass defense efficiency, and third in scoring 20.7 ppg in the MIAA. The defense also contributed to the team to be first in turnover margin with +2.33 per game by recovering five fumbles and intercepting 16 passes in MIAA. Santino DiCesare and Mark Karam finished first and third, respectively, in interceptions in MIAA play. DiCesare also ranked 27th in NCAA Division III interceptions. DiCesare finished fifth and Mark finished 10th in total tackles in MIAA play. DiCesare and Karam earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week. During the 2012 season, DiCesare and Tim Klaus received All-MIAA honors, Klaus’s second. Klaus was leading tackler in MIAA play.

In 2011, the Flying Dutchmen defense improved allowing 18.4 ppg overall and ranked second in the MIAA with 15.7 ppg. The defense also ranked 1st in the MIAA in the following categories: red zone scoring, sacks, and fourth-down conversions.  Hope’s defense was ranked tenth in the nation for sacks.  Three Hope defenders received All-MIAA honors — Kyle Warren, Klaus and Karam — while Nathan Jazwinski received second team All-MIAA.  Kyle ranked second in the league and seventh in the nation in tackles while earning his third straight All-MIAA honor.  Karam was second in the MIAA for sacks. Jazwinksi ranked fifth in the MIAA overall in tackles. Karam tied for second in forced fumbles in the MIAA. Three times, a Hope player was voted MIAA Defensive Player of the Week.  

In 2010, the Flying Dutchmen had a very successful season as they held opponents to 21.7 ppg, and only allowed nine rushing touchdowns on the season, which ranked second in the MIAA and 27th nationally.  The defense recorded a shutout against Alma. The 2010 season saw three Hope defenders receive All-MIAA honors, including linebacker Zach Jones who led the league in tackles for the second time in as many years, and also ranked 17th nationally. Three times a Hope player was voted MIAA Defensive Player of the Week.  

In 2009, the Flying Dutchmen was led by Warren and Jones. Both received All-MIAA honors, Jones led the league with 122 tackles, and Warren recorded 108.  

Linebacker Chris Batterbee was selected to the All-MIAA team in the 2008 season. Batterbee recorded 80 tackles as once again a Hope player was ranked in the top five of the conference for total tackles.  

In 2007, Hope won its second MIAA Championship in a row as the defense produced four All-MIAA players in Troy Blasius, Matt Rugenstein, Drew Weigl and Colin Balas.  The defense forced 26 turnovers and held opponents rushing attacks to just over 100 yds a game. Senior defensive back Troy Blasius capped off his senior year by leading the MIAA in interceptions with five and finishing second on Hope’s all-time list with 16. Linebacker Drew Weigl recorded over 100 tackles and finished second in the league with five sacks.  

The 2006 defense was instrumental in Hope going undefeated in MIAA play, along with an N Division III playoff appearance.  Four Flying Dutchman on the defensive side of the ball made an appearance on the All-MIAA First or Second Teams. Junior defensive end Matt Rugenstein was selected as the MIAA’s Defensive MVP along with being selected as an All-American. Rugenstein led the MIAA with 11.5 sacks. Ricketts’ defense topped the conference in scoring defense, rushing defense, third-down conversion, and sacks. The Flying Dutchmen held opponents to only 325 yards per game as Rugenstein and defensive back Joe Diekevers were selected to the All-MIAA team in 2005.  Hope only allowed 18.6 points per game and 135 rushing yards per game.

In 2004, four Hope defensive football players were selected to the All-MIAA First or Second Teams. Diekevers led the nation in interceptions with nine. Defensive lineman Bryan Scheffers led the MIAA in sacks with 10, and Andy Snyder and Paul Hoeksema each ranked fourth and fifth in tackles, respectively.  Andy Snyder was selected to play in the Aztec Bowl after his stellar performance that year. Defensive lineman Phil Morse received the MIAA Pete Schmidt Memorial Award.  Joe Diekevers also led the nation in interceptions with nine. 

In Ricketts’ first year back on the Hope sidelines, he orchestrated a defense that dominated the league.  The Dutchman won the 2003 MIAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.  The defense ranked first in five statistical categories, allowing 17.8 points per game and 294 yards per game, while also leading the conference in rushing and pass defense. Five players were voted to the All-MIAA Defense.

From 1999-2002, Ricketts spent four years at his alma mater, Augustana College.  The Vikings won 33 games in that span, along with two College Conference of Illinois-Wisconsin championships, and two playoff appearances.  He served as the defensive coordinator for the last two years, where his units finished in the top 10 nationally in scoring and total defense.  In his first two seasons at Augustana, he coordinated the Vikings offense. In 2000, the Vikings finished third in the nation in rushing offense. In his first season, Augustana ranked second in the nation in rushing offense.  

Ricketts’ first stint at Hope started in 1995 and lasted till the 1998 season. The 1997 squad won the MIAA Championship. Nine players received All-MIAA First or Second Team honors during this time. 

The 1992 and 1993 seasons were spent as the defensive coordinator at St. Lawrence University (New York).

From 1989-1991, Ricketts was the defensive coordinator at Frostburg State University (Maryland). Frostburg State won the 1991 ECAC Southwest Championship and recorded 26 victories during the three years he spent there.  In Ricketts’ first year as defensive coordinator his defense led the nation in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense.

Ricketts got his start in coaching while serving as a graduate assistant at Eastern Illinois University during the 1988 season. That season the Panthers advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinals.  

Ricketts graduated from Augustana in 1988. He was a three-year starter who was voted team captain, and was an All-American linebacker. The Vikings captured the 1984, 1985 and 1986 Division III National Championships. Ricketts was part of a team that won 60 consecutive games. He was named team MVP in his senior year. 

Ricketts also holds a Master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern Illinois University. His wife, Trina, is a teacher at Holland Public Schools. They have three children: Nathan, Morgan and Nolan.

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