Clarissa Kraayenbrink-–Sports Editor
The 2018-2019 academic year will bring many changes—including new faces—into the athletic department. Perhaps most notable of these changes is the retirement of Athletic Director Glenn Bouma and the appointment of Ross Douma to take Bouma’s spot. Other positions that will see changes are men’s and women’s head basketball coaches, men’s and women’s assistant basketball coaches and men’s and women’s head soccer coaches.
Douma’s promotion to Athletic Director meant the men’s basketball head coach position opened up. Newcomer Brian Van Haaften has been hired to fill the role. Van Haaften is a Northwestern graduate who coached at Buena Vista University from 1996-2017. Under Van Haaften’s instruction, the Beavers went 414-188 and had six consecutive 20-win seasons from 2000-2005.
“I can’t wait to spend time with my new players and get to know them on a personal level and try to make a difference in their lives,” Van Haaften said, in a statement to Dordt College sports information. “We will chase championships together and enjoy every second of it.”
Along with the men’s team, the women’s basketball team will also welcome a new head coach. Bill Harmsen, previous athletic director and boys’ basketball head coach at Western Christian in Hull, will take over this position next year. In addition, he will be helping Douma with some athletic director-related work.
Interim women’s basketball head coach Kyle Lindbergh will switch over to men’s basketball assistant coach and do some athletic fundraising through the Advancement Department. One of the men’s assistant coaches, Kyle Hiemstra, will remain at Dordt in his current position and assist Van Haaften in the coming year. The other men’s assistant coach, Derek Keizer, will be taking over coaching the boys’ basketball team at Western. Dordt is still in the process of finding a new women’s assistant coach.
Outside of basketball, the soccer coaches’ positions will look different next year as well. Although the jobs will be held by the same coaches, Bill Elgersma and Craig Stiemsma, they will co-coach both the men’s and women’s teams. Elgersma is slated to be the head coach of both teams and Stiemsma will be Elgersma’s co-coach. Soccer will also have three graduate assistants to round out their staff.
“They’re going to put their skill sets together and really serve both soccer programs,” Douma said.
Every coach at Dordt is expected to take on duties outside of coaching. Some coaches teach classes in HHP, a few serve in administration positions and all are expected to be ambassadors of Dordt College. Douma also expects his coaches to be good recruiters for their respective sports and advocates for Dordt.
“I think we have an outstanding staff in place,” Douma said. “We’re really at a point where we have a lot of potential within the athletic program and we want to see that really come to fruition over the course of the next five years, and that really starts with the coaching staff we have in place. We are really fortunate at Dordt College to have the folks that we do have.”
As for athletic director duties, Douma oversees all athletic programs and is tasked with carrying out the mission and vision of Dordt College athletics. He will lead programs forward and emphasize doing things the Defender Way—playing to honor Christ. Another thing under his jurisdiction involves Dordt’s booster club, the Defender Gold Club. The DGC is in charge of raising funds for the athletic department, and as such, it is a crucial part of Douma’s job.
For athletes or regular sporting event attendees, these changes may take some getting used to come next year. But all coaches, under the direction of Douma, strive to work well together to further the mission of Dordt College and the athletic department.