It was around this time last year when Ron Bellamy got the call from Michigan asking if he was ready to come home. He had gotten some interest before for other coaching opportunities over the years but after West Bloomfield came up short in the State Championship game in 2017, there was still unfinished business for the former Wolverine turned coach.
Then in 2021, Bellamy and his West Bloomfield football team came away with a State Championship after his 10-year tenure at the high school. That same winter, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh called him about a coaching opportunity with his alma mater. “It was a no brainer when coach Harbaugh called and he said, ‘Are you ready?’ ” Bellamy said. “I said, ‘I’m ready to come home.’ The rest is kind of history.”
Bellamy is a former wide receiver for the University of Michigan, playing for the Wolverines from 1999-2002. He graduated from the school with a Bachelors in Sports Management and communications. Bellamy entered the NFL in 2003 as an undrafted free agent with stints in Miami, Baltimore and Detroit.
Towards the end of his professional football career he sought counsel for his next steps from former coach Lloyd Carr, who suggested that he become a coach. Bellamy considered his desire to stay in football and how rewarding helping the rising high school talent achieve their dreams would be and made the leap. He discovered coaching was exactly where he wanted to be.
Bellamy received his Masters in Education from Wayne State University and promptly accepted a teaching and coaching position with West Bloomfield High School in 2010. He remained committed to his students and community by dedicating himself to retaining homegrown talent in that school district. He elevated his connections and relationships with his kids, helping more than 165 students receive athletic scholarships, with 50 of them going off to FBS schools during his time with West Bloomfield.
When he took over the Lakers as their head coach in 2010, there was a lot of work to be done. West Bloomfield in its history had gone to the playoffs twice. Within four years, he led them to their first playoff berth in nearly two decades. In his final year with the Lakers, he guided them to a 41-0 blowout win over Davison to earn the schools first ever State Championship.
2021 wasn’t West Bloomfield’s sole appearance in a Michigan State Championship. Back in 2017 the Lakers finished as the runner ups after losing to Clarkston in the finals. Three years later he and his team got to lift a State title trophy. With his success as a coach and thorough knowledge of Michigan high school talent, it was a no-brainer for Harbaugh to reach out to the former Wolverine.
Michigan was in a coaching upheaval after its 2020 season and looking to fill the roles of those who departed. Bellamy got the call and initially accepted a position as the wide receivers coach for the Maize and Blue, but ended up coaching the safeties for the season.
Michigan’s defense had one of the greatest overhauls in the coaching room. With a wide berth of talent to work with, Bellamy had a hand at the elevated play in Michigan’s secondary with his focus being on Michigan’s safeties. Michigan’s secondary expanded their play style and under the direction of defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, they were able to play to their strengths.
Now after the exit of Gattis to the University of Miami, coach Bellamy will take up the mantle of Michigan’s receivers coach with coach Jay Harbaugh taking over his former position with the safeties. It has come full circle for Bellamy as he now gets to coach that same position he played for when he wore the winged helmet.
He takes in a great group of talent, as Michigan retains the majority of their top receivers from 2021. Senior Ronnie Bell returns for his final season after injury sidelined him for the majority of this past season. Now upperclassmen, Cornelius Jonson, Roman Wilson, and Mike Sainristil have the opportunity to put up numbers and break out stars like Andrel Anthony can continue to shine. Michigan adds three receivers in its freshman class, four-stars Tyler Morris and Darrius Clemons and three-star Amorion Walker.
While Michigan’s receivers seemed middle of the pack in terms of stand outs last year, expect there to be some change with fresh eyes and receivers ready to make a name for themselves.