BVU Men’s Basketball Coach resigns after 22 seasons


BVU News

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

A successful era has come to an end for the Buena Vista University (BVU) Men’s Basketball team. Head Coach Brian Van Haaften announced his resignation after 22 seasons at BVU.

Coach Van Haaften accepted a position at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and will become the Head Men’s Basketball Coach, effective immediately.

Van Haaften, a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and a native of Pella, Iowa, led the Beavers through many successful seasons. Van Haaften finished 21 seasons with a winning record.

Van Haaften ranks in the Top-40 of coaches with the best winning percentages out of active coaches in all of Division 3, as well as holding a Top-25 career winning percentage of all time.

His overall record for BVU finishes at 414-188 overall, with a 68.77 win percentage. In conference play, he finishes at a dominating 291-100 overall with a 74.42 win percentage.

In his historic tenure at Buena Vista, Van Haaften amassed a variety of awards including seven Iowa Conference Coach of the Year awards, nine Iowa Conference titles, 53 coached All-IIAC players, and two coached IIAC MVP’s.

Van Haaften’s biggest run of success came from 2000-2006, where he compiled six consecutive 20 win seasons in a row. He also won the IIAC title five times in a row, from 2001-2006.

Van Haaften announced his resignation formally to the public on Twitter in a letter.

“I want to let everyone know that today is my last day at Buena Vista University. I was asked yesterday what I would change, and I could not think of one thing. Every single year, we enjoyed the chase together,” said Van Haaften.

He credits the players, assistant coaches, fellow BVU staff members, fans, and the family he has connected with over his 22 years as Head Coach of the Men’s team, looking back at highlights throughout his career.

Coach Van Haaften will leave behind two assistants, Jon Millea and Paul Loos, who he had strong relationships with.

“Coaching with him has been incredible. While I learned a lot about the game of basketball from him, I learned even more about how to be a good leader, role model, friend, husband, father, and more,” said Millea. “It’s hard to narrow down what I will miss the most, but it is probably our daily interactions, no matter how insignificant they may have seemed at the time. He is one of the funniest, most intelligent, and kindest people I have the privilege of knowing, and there’s no doubt I’m going to miss him tremendously.”

Coach Van Haaften’s positive influence has not only impacted his coaching staff, but his players, past and present.

Junior starting point guard Connor Winkelman knows the change will be difficult for the team, but remains confident in the team ability to regroup.

“The team has done a great job of staying together and positive through this change. Obviously there are mixed emotions with the news of his departure, but at the end of the day, everyone is very happy for Coach Van Haaften. He’s impacted all of our lives positively on and off the court, and for that we’re excited for him and for our future,” said Winkelman.

The sports administration staff at BVU remains close with Van Haaften now and throughout his years coaching, and knows he will continue to do great things.

“Coach Van Haaften has without a doubt been a staple of the Men’s Basketball program these last 22 years,” said BVU Director of Athletics Jack Denholm. “His leadership has been very valuable to the program and University. He will no doubt be missed, but we all wish him the best as he moves on to the next chapter of his career.”

There is no information available on a replacement for Van Haaften at this time