Video of Van Haaften introduced as men's basketball coach

(Friday, March 2; Sioux Center, Iowa)  Dordt College has announced the hiring of Brian Van Haaften as the men’s basketball coach.

“We are thrilled to announce Brian as our men’s basketball coach,” said Dordt College athletic director Ross Douma.  “Through the interview process it became evident that Coach Van Haaften has the character traits we were looking for.  He’s proven to be an outstanding college basketball coach over the last 22 seasons and I look forward to working with him moving forward.”

Van Haaften has served as head men’s basketball coach at Buena Vista since 1996 and has a career record of 414-188 with a career winning percentage of .687.  Van Haaften compiled six 20-win seasons in a row from 2000-2005 and his teams won five straight Iowa Conference Tournaments from 2001-2006.  His Buena Vista teams claimed nine regular season conference titles and were runners-up six times.

“Brian’s mission fit, emphasis on process versus just the product, investment in the priority of being a student-athlete, and experience in the teaching and coaching profession is noteworthy,” said Dordt College provost Eric Forseth.

Van Haaften’s teams have made nine NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances and Buena Vista qualified for the Sweet 16 round in three of those tournaments.

“I am so excited to be the next basketball coach at Dordt College.  Dordt is a special place that within its Christ-centered approach it wants to be the best at everything from academics, to relationships, and to the basketball floor.  I can’t wait to be a part of all of it. I want to thank Ross Douma and the Search Committee for their great support.  My wife, Barb, and I are looking forward to the move and looking forward to creating a new path in our lives.   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.   We will chase championships together and enjoy every second of it,” said Van Haaften.

Van Haaften will be Dordt’s 10th men’s basketball coach and just its fourth since 1977.  He inherits a program that current athletic director Ross Douma led for the past nine seasons while compiling a 184-105 record with three NAIA National Championship appearances.  Douma was announced as Dordt’s athletic director in June 2017.

“I want to express our institution’s appreciation to Ross Douma for the way he has led the basketball program this past nine years.  He has set the bar high and is highly respected on and off campus as a person of integrity and character.  It is my impression that Ross and Brian will work seamlessly together to have the program’s emphasis on the Defender Way continue at a high level in transition time ahead,” said Forseth. 

Van Haaften graduated from Northwestern College (Iowa) and has a master’s degree in educational administration from Drake University.  He taught, coached and was principal at Storm Lake St. Mary’s High School from 1988-1994 and served as an assistant basketball coach at Buena Vista University for two years before assuming the head coaching duties in 1996.