Update: We are sad to report that Cullen Finnerty was found dead last night. Please keep his family in your thoughts.
When a former player goes missing, the angst that a coach feels doesn't measure up to the parents of a missing player, but it can't be easy for any coach. And sitting idly by while volunteers search away is out of the question, especially if you're Grand Valley's Matt Mitchell.
Over the weekend, former Grand Valley State University (D-II - MI) quarterback Cullen Finnerty went missing while on a fishing and camping trip in Baldwin, Michigan. Finnerty led the Lakers to three national championships and graduated as the winningest quarterback in NCAA history of any division at 51-4.
The news hit home for current Grand Valley head coach Matt Mitchell, who started his coaching career at Grand Valley back in 2004 coaching the linebackers, helping Finnerty and the Lakers win it all in 2005 and 2006.
According to MLive, when coach Mitchell heard that Finnerty had been reported missing late on Sunday, he rounded up his staff and about 40 players and started to make plans to take the bus (that is normally used to take the team to games) on a hour and a half trek to Baldwin to help search the area surrounding the campground that Finnerty was staying at.
When asked about the trip, Mitchell simply said that "we want to do all that we can". Classy move by coach Mitchell grabbing his staff and players to aid in the search efforts, and reminding us of the extremely strong bond that is forever formed between a coach and player.
Our thoughts and prayers are with coach Mitchell, his staff, and the family of Cullen Finnerty during this difficult time, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts as well.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Sherrif's department at 231-745-2712.