Northwestern College has announced that Earl Woudstra will step down as Athletic Director, a role he has served in since 2014.
Woudstra has long been part of the Northwestern family. He graduated from NWC in 1978 and worked part time as JV men’s basketball coach until 1984. He began full time as a faculty member in the kinesiology department in 1989. During his tenure, Woudstra has coached women’s tennis and most notably women’s basketball, leading the Raiders to four national titles. He was named NAIA National Coach of the Year each of those years and inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2012.
“It has been my pleasure to serve Northwestern for the past 30 years as a coach, faculty member, and member of the athletic department,” said Woudstra. “Most recently, it has been an honor to serve as Northwestern’s athletic director and as a member of the President’s Cabinet.”
Woudstra became Northwestern’s assistant athletic director in 2004 and has been director since 2014. During his tenure as director, he oversaw the renovations of the DeWitt Fitness Center in the Rowenhorst Student Center and the planning and construction of the Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse. The Red Raider athletic programs have excelled under his outstanding leadership, winning the GPAC All-Sports Trophy for 2017-18, also the year where Woudstra was named the GPAC Athletic Director of the Year.
Most recently, Woudstra led his staff in a comprehensive review of programs, seeking areas of potential growth. That work has produced two new clubs—bowling and esports, both of which are already attracting recruits.
“Karen and I will always treasure our experiences at Northwestern, for us, and for our family,” stated Woudstra. “We will especially miss the regular interaction with incredible people who are committed to the Christ-centered mission of Northwestern. We will always be Red Raiders.”
During Earl’s 36 years on the Northwestern staff, he has embodied our definition of a Raider: One who is fearless, confident and prepared to finish the task through discipline, sacrifice and the relentless pursuit of excellence. Northwestern is better for Earl’s servant-leadership, which will be deeply missed.
Woudstra will now serve as the city administrator for the city of Orange City.