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Board approves start of football

At its fall meeting on October 21, the Dordt College Board of Trustees voted to begin implementation of a football program. The search for a head coach and the raising of funds has begun.

“It’s the right time to do this,” says Board of Trustees President Dr. Calvin Hoogendoorn. “In our pool of prospective students, we see more and more high school juniors and seniors who want the Christian and Reformed education that Dordt College provides, but who also want football as part of their college experience. In many of their high schools, football is already a team sport.”

Dr. Carl E. Zylstra says, “Starting a football program at a college is a huge task. We needed to make sure that we not only had the capability to bring together a program, but also that we would be able to do it in a way that maintained the integrity of Dordt’s mission. As I studied this issue, and discussed it in countless meetings and conversations with Dordt College faculty, staff, and constituents, I became convinced that Dordt not only could do this, but that it should.”

Athletic Director Rick Vander Berg says, “Finding the right head coach is vital to the development of a football program. The head coach sets the direction.” In addition to finding a coach, facilities will need to be upgraded, including adding more locker room and equipment storage space, and renovating the press box at the Sioux Center football field.

Acknowledging that starting a football program is an expensive venture, John Baas, vice president for college advancement, says that fund raising to offset the start-up costs for football has already begun. “We know of donors who have already expressed an interest in supporting a football program at Dordt College. We are contacting them and working to identify others who we think would be interested and capable of supporting this initiative.”

The Dordt College football team would compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. If all goes as planned, Dordt College will begin junior varsity competition in the fall of 2007, with full varsity competition beginning in 2008.