DEFIANCE, OH - Defiance College President, Mark C. Gordon, recently announced that Alex Van der Sluijs had been promoted to head coach of the men's and women's soccer programs. Van der Sluijs will serve as the interim head coach until completing his master's of education degree from DC in the spring, before taking the position full-time for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Van der Sluijs will assume the head coach position for the Yellow Jackets after serving the past two seasons as an assistant coach under then head coach, Alden Lawrence, who recently resigned his position. During Lawrence's tenure, Defiance College saw significant growth in the size of its men's and women's soccer programs and added a men's junior varsity program, while the men's varsity team advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in 2006.
"I want to publicly express my appreciation to coach Alden Lawrence for all his dedication and hard work on behalf of Defiance College and our soccer program," said President Gordon. "Coach Lawrence was a particularly strong and effective advocate for improvements to our soccer facilities, which I am pleased are now coming to fruition with the completion and enhancement of our new field."
"I am thrilled that Alex Van der Sluijs has agreed to serve as head coach starting with the upcoming season. He has already earned the deep respect and affection of the players through his service as assistant coach, and he brings talent, creativity, skill, and dedication to this position," said President Gordon.
Prior to coming on board at DC, Van der Sluijs earned coaching experience as an assistant at Wilmington College, while also spending time as a coach for the Lakota United Soccer Club, Thunder United Soccer Club and the Midwest Soccer Academy.
Van der Sluijs also boasts an outstanding playing career on the pitch, where he was a three-year starter for the Quakers during his time at Wilmington. The 2007 graduate was a two-time Ohio Athletic Conference Forward of the Year and a three-time First-Team All-OAC and All-Great Lakes Region selection. After completing his dual degree in communication arts and sports management, Van der Sluijs played one year of professional soccer for the Cincinnati Kings.
"I am honored to take the position of head men's and women's soccer coach at Defiance College," stated Van der Sluijs. "I care deeply for the players and people at DC and I am excited for the chance to continue coaching them. This is such a great opportunity and I cannot wait to build the tradition here."
Van der Sluijs will inherit a pair of young teams at DC. The men (5-12, 2-6 HCAC) will lose only two players to graduation, with the women (5-11-1, 2-5-1) looking to return all but three student-athletes.