Ross Douma

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Athletic Director




Douma has diverse and varied educational leadership experience and has been the athletic director at Dordt since 2017.

As the director of athletics at Dordt, Douma has been responsible for casting a vision for the athletic department and developing a strategic plan that closely aligns institutional goals with athletic department initiatives. He provides leadership for a department that includes 22 full-time employees, 29 part-time staff members and 625 student-athletes.

He has been responsible for the implementation of the Defender Way which is a holistic philosophy that enhances institutional integrity, promotes athletic department consistency  and assures coaching accountability. The Defender Way challenges students to develop a closer relationship with Jesus as they excel in the classroom while also competing for championships. 

Douma has also developed and now oversees Coaching for Transformation (CfT) which is an educational model that empowers K-12 Christian schools in North America to administer distinctively Christian athletic programs.  He devised an applicable program that aligns the school's mission and vision with the athletic department. 

Douma provides governance for the Athletics Advisory Board and Defender Gold Club Board. The  Athletics Advisory Board is a national board formed to support the purpose and mission of the Dordt Athletic Department while analyzing, assessing, and fundraising for strategic priorities intended to bring Defender Athletics forward. The Defender Gold Club Board serves as the conduit between constituents and the athletic department. The Defender Gold Club generated $676,781 in 2019 and has increased to $5,076,960 in 2021.  

Athletes at Dordt have earned 3.45 or better cumulative grade point averages in 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and all athletic teams have earned NAIA Scholar-Team status in each of those three school years.

Douma's reach has also extended to partnerships with the City of Sioux Center to create a position at the All Season Center facility to alleviate the annual debt of that facility and he is member of the joint use facilities board that partners Dordt with the City of Sioux Center in the management and use of athletic fields and facilities.

Before 2017 Douma served as the associate athletic director at Dordt from 2013-17.  In that time he served as Dordt's first Athletics Gift Officer, oversaw camp participation which grew from 50 in 2013 to 1,800 attendees in 2019, and conducted a feasibility study with the intent of increasing athletic enrollment from 417 student-athletes to 625 currently.

Douma also was Dordt’s head men’s basketball coach from 2009-2018 and guided the Defenders to a 180-94 record and had three teams qualify for the NAIA National Championship field.  The 2012 and 2013 teams advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 32-team field.  He coached six players to All-American status. He was the GPAC Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2014; was a Don Meyer NAIA National Coach of the Year finalist in 2014. 

Prior to his time at Dordt Douma was head boys basketball coach at Waukee High School (Iowa) from 2006-2009; Chicago Christian High School (Illinois) from 2003-2006 and Hartley Melvin Sanborn (Iowa) from 1998-2001.  At each of those spots the teams had unprecedented success with a state tournament berth at Waukee, back to back 20- win seasons at Chicago Christian and a district title at Hartley Melvin Sanborn.


B. A. Northwestern College (Iowa) 1995

M. A. Governors State University (Illinois) 2006

Athletic Leadership Philosophy

We have an opportunity to move the Dordt athletic program forward in a distinctly Christian manner. It is important our student-athletes be part of an athletic program that enhances their spiritual walk, partners with professors to ensure academic development while playing for teams that compete to their potential. Done well, athletics supports and enhances the purpose of Dordt University. I count it a privilege to use our influence in athletics to further God’s kingdom.