Joel Penner

Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach

(712) 722-6311

Coaching Background

During his first season at Dordt, The Defender offense finished #1 in the GPAC and #5 in NAIA in total rushing yards per game (275.4). They also finished #3 in the GPAC in total offense per game (445.5), and #4 in scoring offense per game (32.4), both of which are school records. In 2017, Coach Penner produced a first team All-American in Bryce Lidtka, who rushed for a school record, 1,714 years, ranking #1 in the NAIA in total rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (24). Penner also guided wide receiver Jason Miller, who finished second NAIA in total receiving yards (1311), breaking yet another Dordt record.

Coach Penner has 16 years of college football coaching experience with stops at Malone (Ohio), Northwestern College (Iowa), Trinity International (Illinois), Greenville (Illinois), and Pacific Lutheran (Washington).

Under Penner’s guidance, the Malone offense doubled in production over Penner’s first two years on the staff in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, the Pioneers averaged nearly 30 points and 400 yards of offense per game while also leading the GLIAC in red zone touchdown percentage. Penner was a part of a coaching staff that transitioned Malone from NAIA membership to NCAA Division II status.

While at Northwestern from 2009 to 2011, Penner coached an offense that averaged over 36 points and 420 yards per game during the 2011 season. In addition to crafting a strong Red Raider passing attack, he also developed a spread option ground game that was ranked third in the nation in 2010 with an average of 283 yards per contest. During Penner’s three years at Northwestern, 21 offensive players earned all-conference honors and four players were named NAIA All-Americans.

Coaching Philosophy

I love being involved in this game and the opportunity to share my passions with our players is a gift. My mission is to honor God in the way I lead the program, to build men, to challenge our guys to contribute to the cause each and every day and to compete fiercely.

Athletic Background

Competed in football and basketball at Centennial High School (Arizona) and Abbotsford Senior Secondary (British Columbia). Played tight end at Trinity International University.

Academic Background

B.A. in sports and wellness management – Trinity International in 2001

M.A. in Christian studies – Trinity International in 2004




Sons-Jacob and Caleb