Bill Harmsen began leading the Dordt Defender women’s program in 2018-19 after serving several years at Western Christian High School (Iowa).
His 2018-19 Dordt team proved to be record-breaking and historic as it posted a 20-12 season record with a 13-9 mark in the Great Plains Athletic Conference which was good for fourth place. The team earned an at-large berth to the NAIA Division II National Basketball Championship where its season ended in the first round of the 32-team field. The bid was the first ever for the Defenders and capped a season where they spent most of the year in the top-20 of the rankings and started the year with a 15-4 record.
Harmsen coached the team to a program best 80.3 points per game and topped the nation in defensive rebounds (31.96) and was 9th in scoring average.
The 2019-20 team followed up with another record-setting performance by posting a 24-8 overall record and a 15-7 GPAC mark. The Defenders spent the entire season ranked in the top-12 of the national poll. The Defenders also advanced to the semifinals of the GPAC post-season tournament for the first time in program history. Dordt qualified for the NAIA Division II National Championship field but didn't get a chance to play as the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2019-20 team matched the previous year's points per game average with an 80.3 average and the team out-rebounded teams 42.8-33.1 with that margin ranking 7th in the NAIA. The team also converted 46.1 percent of its field goals which was 6th.
Harmsen has coached two first-team All-GPAC performers, one second-team NAIA All-American, a third-team NAIA All-American and two CoSIDA Academic All-American selections.
While at Western Christian Coach Harmsen guided both the girls and boys basketball teams to state titles. Harmsen was the girls coach from 2012-16 and the boys head coach for two seasons from 2016-18. His 2012, 2013, and 2014 girls teams won state titles and the boys team he guided in 2017 won a state title.
In his time at Western Harmsen also taught Bible classes and served as an assistant boys basketball coach, assistant to the principal and activities director. He served at Western from 2001-18.
Harmsen also taught, coached, and was athletic director at Dakota Christian High School and served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Sioux Falls and was the head girls basketball coach at Sioux Falls Christian.
I feel coaching athletes is a way to get to know individuals on a personal level. To see student athletes at their highest of highs and lowest of lows. This is where spiritual and emotional mentoring can take place. It is my goal every woman that is a part of the Dordt University women's program will be equipped with the spiritual, social, and emotional skills to prosper in the workplace as well as establish homes built on Jesus Christ.
B.A. in Health, Physical Education
M.A. in Educational Leadership
Children-Payton and Caleb