|Brian Van Haaften took Buena Vista to the NCAA Tournament nine times during his 22 seasons on the Beavers' sideline.
Brian Van Haaften, who coached Buena Vista to 414 wins and nine NCAA Tournaments, announced his resignation today. He has accepted a position at Dordt College, an NAIA school in Sioux Falls, Iowa.
"I want to thank BVU for the most awesome time of my life," said Van Haaften in the school's release. "These 22 years were so great. BVU treated me very well, and to this very day, has been nothing but first class."
Van Haaften became Buena Vista's head coach in 1996 and provided stability for a program that had three other head coaches in the prior four seasons. Success came quickly for Buena Vista which went 18-8 in Van Haaften's first season. Van Haaften led the Beavers to six consecutive 20-win seasons from 2000 through 2005 and the Beavers won five IIAC titles in a row from 2002 through 2005. The Beavers made the NCAA Tournament nine times under Van Haaften including three appearances in the sectional semifinals (i.e. Sweet 16). In their best season under Van Haaften, the Beavers went 27-2 in 2000 before losing to UW-Eau Claire 82-75 in overtime of that sectional semifinal game. In all Van Haaften went 414-188 in 22 seasons, making him the winningest coach in program history.
“Coach Van Haaften has without a doubt been a staple of the men’s basketball program these last 22 years,” athletic director Jack Denholm said in the release. “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.”
Van Haaften will take a post at NAIA Dordt College in Sioux Falls, Iowa. NAIA's head coach Ross Douma is leaving that position to focus on athletic director duties.
“We are thrilled to announce Brian as our men’s basketball coach,” said Dordt College athletic director Ross Douma. “Through the interview process it became evident that Coach Van Haaften has the character traits we were looking for. He’s proven to be an outstanding college basketball coach over the last 22 seasons and I look forward to working with him moving forward.”
BVU will begin a search for Van Haaften's replacement immediately.
Buena Vista finished 17-9, 10-6 in the IIAC.