Former Big Rapids hockey player Ferris joins the college ranks

MUSKEGON — He’s a former Big Rapids Cardinal and Ferris State Bulldog and now Cody Chupp is making a move as an NCAA Division I hockey coach.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks recently announced that Chupp, its associate head coach, will join the University of Minnesota Duluth as an assistant coach for the men’s ice hockey program.

“We would like to thank Cody, his wife Hailey and his two sons Grayson and Hudson for all they have done in Muskegon,” Lumberjacks president of hockey operations Steve Lowe said in a statement. “Our program is all about developing all aspects, including coaching, and we couldn’t be happier to have Cody taking the next steps in his career.”

Chupp, 37, leaves Muskegon after serving as associate head coach of the Lumberjacks during the 2021-22 season and assistant coach of Muskegon for one season before his promotion in the 2020-21 season.

“We would like to congratulate Cody and his family and thank him for all of his hard work at Muskegon,” Lumberjacks head coach Mike Hamilton said in a statement. “Cody is primed and ready for the next level and I have personally learned a lot from him both as a coach and as an individual.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to have him on our staff and part of our family for the past three years and there is no doubt in my mind that he has made us a better organization from top to bottom.”

Prior to coming to Muskegon, Chupp served as the head coach of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars from 2017 to 2020, compiling a 70-85-8-7 record in 170 games, including winning seasons in two from his three years and a playoff berth in 2017-18. Prior to his time at Lincoln, Chupp served as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Gamblers from 2014-17.

“For me, college hockey is where I wanted to be,” Chupp said in a phone interview with the Pioneer. “It was important to find a place that suited me personally and my family. Duluth has had a ton of success over the past decade. He had a highly respected coach with great success. Duluth is an awesome town that has a lot of similarities to home for my wife and me.

“When Duluth became open the decision to enter the process was easy and ultimately when the job was offered to me it was a no brainer. It was a fantastic place to get into hockey college.

Chupp played for the Big Rapids hockey program and then had four years of NCAA Division I college hockey at Ferris State University from 2006-2010, where he served as captain for his junior and senior seasons and captain substitute during his second year. In 144 games with the Bulldogs, Chupp scored 35 goals and 60 assists for 95 points.

At Big Rapids, Chupp played four years, one season under Jim Baker and three under Brian Guiney. He graduated from BRHS in 2003.

Chupp said his playing career at Ferris helped prepare him for a college career.

“Playing for a coach like (Bob) Daniels and all the staff, the guys were there for a long time,” Chupp said. “I had the chance to play hockey in a program that I had wanted to play for since I was 2 years old. College hockey has always held a special place in my heart. I went from being a local kid who looked up to all the Ferris guys and went to the camps and then came full circle being on the other side and being able to play that jersey was special to me . It was a unique experience.”

Immediately after his college career, Chupp played 69 games with the Texas Stars of the AHL, scoring five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. Chupp spent the last two years of his professional playing career with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL and their ECHL affiliate with the Wheeling Nailers.

“We had the opportunity to get [Cody] and it was a huge ‘get’ for us and we’ve been lucky to have him with us for the past few years,” Muskegon general manager Jim McGroarty said. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck and it was an absolute pleasure to work with him.”

Chupp joins the Minnesota Duluth hockey team under three-time national championship-winning head coach Scott Sandelin and Adam Krause, who was recently promoted to associate head coach.

“Adam and I pretty much handle the recruiting and will handle that job as evenly as possible,” Chupp said.

UM-D plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“It’s kind of a unique year,” Chupp said. “We are a little younger than Duluth for a long time. We have 10 freshmen and two transfers. We will be a young group. I’m excited. The NCHC is not an easy league to play. There are no easy evenings.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks contributed to this report

Catherine J. Martinez