Grand Valley football team, alumni to join Finnerty search party

Alumni and football players from Grand Valley State University will be joining the search effort for Cullen Finnerty.

Alumni and football players from Grand Valley State University joined the search effort for Cullen Finnerty.

According to the Alumni Association, an email went out to alumni asking for help in searching for 30-year-old Cullen Finnerty, who went missing while fishing Sunday evening.

"He was a very passionate person. He cared a lot; he cared a lot about Grand Valley State Football. I think that reflects back on how many people we have out here right now trying to find him," said former GVSU football player and search volunteer Jim Hardy.

The group is gathering at the old GEO prison in Baldwin and will be searching the area around the Bray Creek campground.

"Please keep Cullen and his family in your prayers. I know Cullen is married and has two small children," said GVSU Assistant Football coach Jim Schaak who was helping in the search efforts. .

Emergency responders say there will be one official for every 5-10 volunteers.

Finnerty was on a personal fishing pontoon around 9 p.m. Sunday and didn't return home. The Lake County Sheriff's Office is using phone records from his cell phone in an attempt to track where he may have been. The last call was made to his brother-in-law at 9:37 p.m. and was suddenly dropped. The family called the Sheriff's Office shortly after that.

Finnerty told his brother-in-law he didn't know where he was.

Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts tells the Associated Press Finnerty had a "nervous episode" and ran into the woods.

His personal pontoon was found, but he has not been located.

The Associated Press reports that in addition to the current players, dozens of former players and coaches will be making the trip to lend a hand. Current coach Matt Mitchell says former Grand Valley coach and current Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin is among those driving to Lake County.

Finnerty played football for Grand Valley State and lead the team to three Division II national championships in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Editor's note: Finnerty's body was found Tuesday evening. For the full story, click here.

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