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Dordt College News

Vander Berg Announces Retirement Plans

October 3, 2008

Vander Berg

(Wednesday, October 1; Sioux Center, Iowa) Longtime Dordt College Athletic Director Rick Vander Berg has announced his planned retirement at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 school year.

Vander Berg has held a variety of positions within the Dordt College athletic and physical education departments which included teaching, coaching men’s basketball, assisting women’s basketball and acting as athletic director from 1980 to present.

With his guidance the Dordt College athletic department has grown to include varsity teams in football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, golf, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball. Vander Berg also oversees a pair of non-varsity programs—the Dordt Blades hockey team and the Dordt Sowers lacrosse team.

“Under the leadership of Rick Vander Berg, Dordt College's athletic department has gained a strong reputation for its educational quality, the excellence of its play, and the character of participants and coaches alike,” said Dordt College President, Dr. Carl Zylstra. “These hallmarks are only faint reflections of the deep personal integrity that has marked the long and distinguished service of this astounding Christian gentleman, teacher and coach. He will be missed but his legacy will be lasting.”

Vander Berg was named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2003-2004 and has served as chair of several committees within the GPAC. He was also named NAIA District 15 men’s basketball coach of the year in 1981 and 1988.

Vander Berg’s 31 year career at Dordt College started with the 1977-1978 school year when he was named head men’s basketball coach. Vander Berg guided 17 men’s basketball teams at Dordt College and left the bench at the conclusion of the 1994-1995 season with a 239-224 record. Vander Berg coached Dordt College to their first ever appearance in the NAIA National Basketball Tournament in 1988 where the upstart Defenders advanced to the round of eight before being eliminated. Prior to his arrival at Dordt College Vander Berg was athletic director and teacher at Unity Christian High School in Orange City, Iowa where he also coached several sports including boys basketball where he guided the school to its first ever basketball state title in 1974.

"Rick has been a part of Dordt College athletics for as long as many of us can remember,” says Dordt College Sports Information Director Mike Byker. “He has given much to the college. His affect on student-athletes at Dordt College has been profound. He is truly a servant leader. We wish him and his wife, Lori, a rewarding retirement.”

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