Monday, October 24, 2005

Dordt College Board Approves Football

In its fall meeting on Friday, the Dordt College Board of Trustees adopted a recommendation to proceed with the implementation of a football program at Dordt College. The next step in the process is to begin the search for a head coach and to begin the process of soliciting funds.
“It’s the right time to do this,” states Board of Trustees president, Dr. Calvin Hoogendoorn. “In our pool of prospective students, we see more and more high school juniors and seniors who want the Christian and Reformed education that Dordt College provides, but who also want football as part of their college experience. In many of their high schools, football is already a team sport.”
Dr. Carl E. Zylstra, president of Dordt College notes that this is a significant step for Dordt College. “Starting a football program at a college is a huge task. We needed to make sure that we not only had the capability to bring together a program, but also that we would be able to do it in a way that maintained the integrity of Dordt’s mission. As I studied this issue, and discussed it in countless meetings and conversations with Dordt College faculty, staff and constituents, I became convinced that Dordt not only could do this, but that it should.”
The search for a head coach will begin immediately. Athletic Director Rick Vander Berg says, “Finding the right head coach is vital to the development of a football program. The head coach sets the direction. It’s his job to build the program by recruiting the first players and assistant coaches.” In addition to finding a coach, facilities will need to be upgraded. The upgrade will include among other things, additional locker room space, equipment storage space, and a press box renovation at the Sioux Center football field.
Acknowledging that starting a football program is an expensive venture, John Baas, Vice President for College Advancement, says that fund raising to offset the start-up costs for football will also begin immediately. “We know of donors who have already expressed an interest in supporting a football program at Dordt College. We will be contacting them and work to identify others who we think would be interested and capable of supporting this initiative.”
The Dordt College football team would compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Corey Westra, GPAC commissioner says this about what Dordt College’s decision means to the conference. “Dordt College has always had a tradition of excellence in athletics, the Great Plains Athletic Conference is excited to have Dordt be the 12th football school in the 13 member GPAC. The addition of football will only enhance their quality athletic program and offer another opportunity to today's student-athletes seeking athletics as part of a Christian liberal-arts education."
If all goes as planned, Dordt College will begin junior varsity competition in 2007-2008, with full varsity competition beginning in 2008-2009.
(Story from Mike Byker at Dordt, Helmet from