Jan 22, 2024

Darin Keizer named Athletic Director at Dordt University

Dr. Darin Keizer has been appointed Athletic Director at Dordt University.

Dr. Darin Keizer has been appointed Athletic Director at Dordt University.

Keizer previously served as Athletic Director at Southwest Christian High School in Chaska, Minnesota, since 2014. During that time, Keizer helped Southwest Christian launch six new athletic programs, helped raise $13 million for an $18 million athletic expansion, and oversaw a staff of 80 coaches. In 2010, Keizer earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education at Dordt before completing his Master’s in Education Leadership at Dordt University in 2013. In December 2023, Keizer completed his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Liberty University. He is married to Jenna (‘11), and they have two boys.

“I’m excited to welcome Darin to Dordt as our new leader for athletics,” says Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt University. “Darin’s educational background—along with his practical experience as a coach and athletic director at a premier Christian high school in the upper Midwest—give me great confidence that he will lead our programs with a Christ-centered approach.”

Since 2022, Keizer has also served as the Director of Coaching for Transformation (CFT), an outreach of the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) at Dordt University that provides alignment between administrators and athletes so that the deep hope of each school is realized through a transformative experience for athletes coaches and the wider community.

Keizer is eager to begin. “It is truly an honor to steward the next chapter of Dordt University Athletics. I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Erik Hoekstra and the hiring committee for their belief in me and our shared vision for the future,” he says. “Dordt University is a special place that impacted me greatly; I have the opportunity to give back and serve in a way that impacts the lives of many on the campus and in the community through Defender Athletics and the Defender Way.”

Director of Athletic Communication Mike Byker says that Keizer is well-prepared to lead Dordt’s athletic department and to continue the department’s momentum. “His experiences as an administrator and coach at different levels of competition have helped hone his skill set and prepare him to lead an athletic department pursuing not only success in competition, but also growth in student-athletes’ Christian development, academics, and preparation to further Christ-centered living when their time at Dordt has concluded.”

Keizer is no stranger to Dordt; as a student-athlete, he participated in soccer and basketball and later served as a graduate assistant for the Women’s Basketball program. He also served as a member of the Dordt University Athletics Advisory Board.

“Darin emerged as the right leader to continue to propel Dordt’s athletic program, The Defender Way, and Coaching for Transformation,” says Hoekstra. “Christians often either mirror our world and spiritualize athletics or shy away from participating in fear of being subsumed. I trust that under Darin’s leadership, Dordt’s programs will continue to strive for championships while equipping our students to be servant leaders and carry out the Great Commission in all they do.”

Dordt University athletics are guided by the Defender Way, which summarizes the university’s Christian approach to administering athletics. The approach is based on Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.”

The four pillars of the Defender Way include:

  • A commitment to the Great Commission and Cultural Mandate
  • A commitment to equipping student-athletes to be servant leaders
  • A commitment to the academic development of all student-athletes
  • A commitment to the pursuit of championships

“I’m thrilled to come back and lead because of Dordt’s commitment to administering a holistic athletic program with a Christ-centered approach to developing coaches and athletes to impact the kingdom through athletics,” says Keizer. “As a Sioux Center native and Dordt alumnus, I am excited to return with my family to continue moving Defender Athletics forward. I cannot wait to get started!”

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers