Brian Van Haaften

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Head Coach


Was named the head coach of the Dordt University men’s basketball program in March, 2018.

The 2019-20 Defenders posted a 22-9 record and finished 13-7 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The team averaged 86.1 points per game and allowed 76.1 points per contest. The Defenders are 11th in the NAIA in field goal percentage and was 16th in the nation in scoring and also in assist/turnover ratio. Van Haaften's record at Dordt is 41-22 and he's 455-210 in 25 years of college coaching.

The 2018-19 Dordt team posted a 19-13 overall record and qualified for the GPAC Post-Season Tournament before falling in the semifinals to the eventual champion. Ten of the Defenders' losses were by ten points or less and he coached two NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

He served as head men’s basketball coach at Buena Vista University (Iowa) from 1996-2017 and had a career record of 414-188 with a career winning percentage of .687. Van Haaften compiled six 20-win seasons in a row from 2000-05 and his teams won five straight Iowa Conference Tournaments from 2001-06. His Buena Vista teams claimed nine regular season conference titles and were runners-up six times. He coached teams to nine NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances and Buena Vista qualified for the Sweet 16 round in three of those tournaments. Prior to coaching at Buena Vista, Van Haaften taught, he coached basketball, and coached baseball at Storm Lake St. Mary’s High School (Iowa).


B.A. Education-Northwestern College (Iowa)

M.A. Educational Administration-Drake University (Iowa)

coaching philosophy

The Defender Way is about being a part of something bigger than yourself.  It’s about being a servant to others, it’s about putting team before yourself, and it’s about being a class act on and off the court.  When you have the attitude of the Defender Way, you will develop leadership, work ethic, and proper competitive focus.  When all these things come together, special things happen.  Our players will be successful on and off the court, and they will serve others and the Lord.  This basketball experience will be the time of our players’ lives, and one they will never forget.