Ross Douma: Sweater Vests 101

Pippa Van Der Dordt-Staff Writer

Ross DoumaQ: How did you decide on your signature style?
A: Ya know, that is a great question. I decided upon sweater vests when I wore one for the very first time. For a long time, everything in my being revolted at the idea of them, believe it or not. But then I went out on a limb and wore one to the interview I had for my current position. I thought, new job, new opportunity; I’m going to try a new look. After Dordt offered me the position, I realized that, in large part, I owed my new career to the professionalism of my sweater vest. I believe that’s really what helped me get the job. Sure, I was qualified and all that, but the sweater vest just really put me over the top.

A: After that, I went with my now-classic sweater vest look for the first game I coached at Dordt, and from there it just kind of caught on. But you know how much of a standby it is for me now, and I believe the fans really count on me to wear a sweater vest week after week. On the rare occasion I don’t wear a sweater vest, I get to my office the next day with some angry Post-It Notes on my door. I’ve learned you’ve got to give the fans what they want. You’ve seen the cardboard cutouts of me that students have made, I’m sure. Those are pictures of me wearing a sweater vest. There’s no way I can go back on that now. I’ve built too firm of a sweater vest foundation to change now.

Q: So why sweater vests? Why not a classy vest or even a full-out sports coat?
A: I truly believe it’s because of the mobility my arms have when I wear sweater vests. I need to have my arms free to motion at players and direct them up and down the court. The sweater vest really just gives me the perfect opportunity to do so. It also keeps my torso warm and my arms free, and that’s a prime combination. I wear a long-sleeve shirt under my sweater vests to keep my arms warm, so there’s no need to have a full sweater. I would get too warm that way, ya know? So I guess the sweater vest is just the right combo of coolness, breathability and mobility.

Q: What would you like Diamond readers to know about your sweater vests?
A: You need to try one sometime. I don’t care if that’s now or sometime in your future career, but sometime you need to get one yourself. I can almost guarantee you that once you try one on, you’ll never go back to a regular sweater. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to try a sweater vest on for the first time; I could have found my signature style a long time ago. Better late than never, though, right?

Q: What do your players think of the sweater vests?
A: I think they really like them. There’s a lot of speculation in the locker room before game days on which sweater vest I’ll wear for any given game. Here, let me give you some exclusive insight: it’s usually a black one. If we have a rival game coming up, say Northwestern or Morningside or some team like that, I’ll be sure to wear one with a Dordt logo on the chest. I figure if players are adorning the Dordt logo, why shouldn’t I? I’m trying to get my players to wear sweater vests on game days to classes and such, but I can’t force them. This is something they have to come to on their own. Maybe someday, though. I can only hope.

Editor’s Note: All Zircon articles are the Dordt Diamond’s semi-annual homage to the time-honored, First Amendment-protected, great American tradition of satire. The literal truths of these articles are not to be taken at face value, but we hope the hidden truths allude to the absurdities of some of the realities we face in society today.

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