STORM LAKE, Iowa – Buena Vista University head men’s basketball coach Brian Van Haaften announced that he is stepping down immediately. He will be the next head basketball coach at Dordt College in Sioux Center.
"I want to thank BVU for the most awesome time of my life," Van Haaften said. "These 22 years were so great. BVU treated me very well, and to this very day, has been nothing but first class. From President Moore, to my former AD's and present AD Jack Denholm, and to President Merchant, I could not be more thankful."
“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, a seven-time Iowa Conference Coach of the Year and three-time Regional Coach of the Year, has guided the program for the last 22 years and is its all-time winningest coach at 414-188.
Van Haaften, a Northwestern College graduate, coached six straight 20-win teams from 2000-05 and led the Beavers to nine Iowa Conference regular season titles as well as seven IIAC Tournament titles, including five straight from 2002-06. He posted an all-time career IIAC record of 270-94. The Beavers also made nine NCAA DIII Tournament appearances during his tenure, including three Sweet Sixteen appearances.
Two of the top records in program history took place under Van Haaften’s leadership (27-2 in 2000 and 27-4 in 2003). His teams were nearly unbeatable inside of Siebens Fieldhouse over the years, going 215-59 during his tenure, including an unprecedented 151-32 mark against IIAC foes.
Over the years, he coached 52 all-conference players, including six IIAC MVPs and two Defensive Players of the Year. Every four-year player he coached during his time on the Beaver sideline was part of at least one Iowa Conference championship.
“Coach Van Haaften has without a doubt been a staple of the men’s basketball program these last 22 years,” said Denholm. “His leadership has been very valuable to the program and University. He will no doubt be missed, but we all wish him the best as he moves on to the next chapter of his career.”
Dordt went 12-19 this season under the direction Douma. Douma is leaving the sidelines to focus on the athletic director duties he took over at the school last June. Douma had led the Defenders program since 2009.
Van Haaften will be Dordt’s 10th men’s basketball coach and just its fourth since 1977.
BVU went 17-9 overall in 2017-18 (10-6 IIAC) and finished third in the league standings.
A search for Van Haaften’s replacement will begin immediately.