Ryan “Bones” Colpitts leaves basketball managerial legacy at Central Michigan

Central Michigan student manager Ryan "Bones" Colpitts poses for a picture before CMU's game against Ball State on Feb. 28 at McGuirk Arena.

Besides players and coaches, one of the most well-known figures in the Central Michigan men’s basketball program is Ryan Colpitts.

Most would not recognize the last name Colpitts because he is known to all as "Bones."

In his fifth-year, Bones displayed excellent character to CMU head coach Keno Davis. 

“We have tried to make sure the staff around the student athletes have good characters,” Davis said. “Bones is at the top of that list. He always has a great attitude and is all about the team.”

Throughout his career as a Chippewa manager, Bones’ most influential relationship was with former CMU guard Chris Fowler, who put up 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists in his senior 2015-16 season. 

“One of my brothers to this day is Chris Fowler,” Bones said. “He really told me that him and I couldn’t control what the team was doing all the time, so we just got in the gym every day. He helped me have a great passion and love for the game. I’ll always appreciate him for that.” 

Almost every day, Davis would come to the gym at 6 a.m. and see Fowler. Alongside the former CMU guard was Bones.

“When you come in here at 6 a.m., you see Chris Fowler and Bones,” Davis said. “He was always willing to get in the building and do what the players needed to become better.”

Bones’ favorite moment was from the 2014-15 season. CMU was losing by nine points to Western Michigan, but Fowler’s 17 points and nine assists helped earn CMU a 70-65 victory over its in-state rival. 

“My favorite moment was my sophomore year,” Bones said. “I wanted to film one game and someone’s family was in town, so I got to film against Western Michigan. We were down at halftime. I was almost in tears up there filming. We came back to win and being able to see all the fans and my brothers on the court was great.”

Central Michigan student manager Bones cheers during the basketball game on Feb. 27 at McGuirk Arena. 

During that same season, the Chippewas won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship. Bones was right there for it all, working behind the scenes. 

“After winning the MAC Championship, it was cool to see how many people came out and cared about Central Michigan basketball,” Bones said. “This is the most inspirational thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can see everything and it’s been an amazing journey.”

Moving forward in life, Bones is planning to be a youth minister. He currently helps out with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

“I want to be a youth minister, which isn’t normal for student managers,” Bones said. “A lot of the time they want to be coaches or general managers or anything down the line of basketball. Being a manager and a young life leader, it taught me about what I really care about in this world.

“Basketball is a close second, but God is my main priority," Bones said. "Being able to show the love of Jesus Christ through my love for basketball is why I want to be a youth minister and eventually work in the inner city. I want to feed the streets and spruce up the kingdom. That’s the next goal.”

Even though he has his currently plan set, he is not allowing that to hold him back from any opportunities, as he said God could take him down a different route. 

“God’s plan is a lot different than my plan, so we will see what happens,” Bones said. “I might want to be a youth minister, but end up as a coach. Nobody knows but God, so we will see what happens. Right now, I’m just excited for the opportunities.”

Davis, while Bones is moving on, will never forget the impact the fifth-year student manager has left on the program in Mount Pleasant. 

“He has a relationship with the student athletes to help them but also be a friend to them at the same time,” Davis said. “I know whatever direction he ends up going after his time here, he will be successful.”