Bulldogs in the Spotlight: Men’s CCTF, Bill King

Bill King

Bill King

Bulldogs in the Spotlight, Vol. 3
by David Silversmith

Bulldogs in the Spotlight is a new mini-series bringing Ferris State fans intense, intimate, and intriguing interviews to help them get to know the Ferris State Student-Athletes. In this third week, we will help you get to know Ferris State Men’s cross country and track runner, Bill King.

Bill is a senior from Oak Park, Michigan. He is set to graduate in the spring of 2014 with a degree in business administration. Bill patiently waited for his chance to contribute up to his junior year, in which he helped the Ferris State Men’s cross country team advance to the 2012 NCAA national championships for the first time in over twenty years. The Bulldogs finished 13th in Joplin, Missouri. He also contributed again in his senior cross country campaign helping the Bulldogs to a 10th place finish in Spokane, Washington at the 2013 NCAA national championships. He holds personal bests of 1:57 in the 800m, 4:18 in the mile, 8:48 in the 3k, 15:26 in the 5k, 25:55 in the cross country 8k, and 32:47 in the cross country 10k. Bill is currently competing in his final track season as a bulldog, and has plans to move either Grand Rapids or Detroit after his graduation this May. I must also say that Bill has been a fine friend of mine for the past five years, and I’m glad I got experience Ferris with the man with the self-proclaimed nickname, “Tron”. Here is our conversation that will help you get to know Bill King.

David:
Bill, thank you for doing the interview with me.

Bill:
Oh, the pleasure is all mine.

David:
Let’s begin with how you started your running career.

Bill:
Well, I joined track at Royal Oak High School my sophomore year to get a varsity jacket. I was put in the hurdles and sprints and I wasn’t good. I fell a lot. The coaches moved me up to the 400m and the 800m after I kept falling. After a couple races, they told me, ‘Bill, if you work hard, you have potential.’

David:
Sounds like the rest was history.

Bill:
Well, I didn’t work as hard as I should have that first year. The coaches told me to try and come out for cross country in the fall. I didn’t know what it was. I just said, ‘sure’. Once I found out it was running, I was excited. But then I found out how long we had to run and I wasn’t as excited. I remember the first race like it yesterday. I ran 26 or 27 minutes for the 5k in Woodhaven, Michigan.

David:
When did the moment happen when you realized you can run in college?

Bill:
Well, I improved a lot during high school when I became dedicated. However, I didn’t know if I would run in college. When I applied to Ferris, Central Michigan, and Bowling Green, my coaches told me that I could run at any of those schools. So when Ferris replied back with my admission first, I decided to go there. Running was a rude awakening though. Before Ferris, I thought I was one of the best in the nation.

David:
So how was your first couple years at Ferris?

Bill:
Well, [Men's cross country head coach] Steve gave me the opportunity, and I didn’t take my first season as serious as I should have. I wasn’t doing enough to compete at a high level. And I made a couple of mistakes here and there. I did have some okay times in my first year. I did improve. But it could have been different.

David:
Well, you did help our teams out in the later years as well. Let’s change pace and talk about your favorites.

Bill:
I love favorites.

David:
Color?

Bill:
Black.

David:
Vehicle?

Bill:
I really like the 2013 Jeep Commander.

David:
Movie?

Bill:
Cloverfield.

David:
Favorite artist, though we both know everybody who knows you, knows this.

Bill:
I love Prince.

David:
Favorite vacation destination?

Bill:
Port Clinton, Ohio.

David:
Favorite dessert?

The one thing that Bill loves most.

The one thing that Bill loves most.

Bill:
Moist peach pie.

David:
That sounds delicious.

Bill:
That’s because it is.

David:
Favorite TV show?

Bill:
Anything with Jesse Ventura. He has a show called ‘Conspiracy Theory’.

David:
Favorite moment with Ferris cross country or track?

Bill:
This is tough. We have had so many great moments. One of my favorites is coming back from the [cross country] national meet in Joplin and  [former runner Ryan] Chute and I started making jokes at each other for a whole hour or so. I also enjoyed the snow ball fight outside of a hotel the morning of the [cross country] national meet in 2011 in Louisville. It was around 7 AM and I remember one of our people in our group got hit in the face four times in a row.

[Laughing]

David:
I remember those times. Those were great times. So, Bill, where do you plan on going after you graduate?

Bill:
I have a couple options. I would like to pursue my MBA eventually, and I may work. I may do both. That isn’t out of the question. But it is likely that I’ll be moving down to Grand Rapids.

David:
That sounds like a good plan. I also want to talk about Chris Delta, your alter-ego musical artist.

Bill:
I knew you bring this up.

David:
You wrote and produced a song called ‘#FerrisSTrong’. What was the influence behind that?

Bill:
It is originally dedicated to the men’s cross country teams of 2012 and 2013 when we finished 13th and 10th in the nation. But that doesn’t mean it is limited to that team. It’s for all teams. It’s my perpetual gift to Ferris State.

Bill King at Kenosha, Wisconsin

Bill King at Kenosha, Wisconsin

David:
It’s a great gift. And how about those two years of the men’s cross country teams?

Bill:
It was such an athletic accomplishment. We saw ourselves as the Motley Crue of the GLIAC and of the nation. We were a bunch of, not to say, rejects, but we didn’t get offers anywhere else. We just worked hard and got to the goal we wanted to get to. The first time we went, we just wanted to go. The second time we went, we wanted to finish top 10. And we achieved those goals both years and with minimal resources. It is a true rags to riches story.

David:
It was such an incredible thing to be a part of, wasn’t it. Is there anything else you would like to talk about?

Bill:
You don’t have enough paper.

Here is the song that Bill, er, I mean Chris Delta produced for the men’s cross country teams:

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s