Northwestern Announces Plan For Interim Athletic Department Leadership

Orange City, Iowa — Northwestern College President Greg Christy has announced interim plans for leadership of the athletic department following Earl Woudstra’s departure to become city administrator for Orange City. Several coaches are assuming additional responsibilities for the balance of the 2019–20 year.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Chris Yaw will serve as interim athletic director, with Head Wrestling Coach Rik Dahl serving as interim assistant athletic director. Head Baseball Coach Brian Wede has taken on more responsibilities in sports information and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kris Korver is assuming an additional role in athletic fundraising.

“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Earl Woudstra’s 36 years of dedication to his alma mater as a professor, coach and athletic director,” says President Christy. “Earl conducted each of these roles with passion, excellence and a commitment to eternal significance. There will be big shoes to fill for whomever assumes the athletic director role. The middle of the academic year is not the best time to conduct a search for his replacement. I am grateful that a number of gifted coaches have stepped up to help us manage the athletic department until the next athletic director is hired.”

Yaw, a 1992 Northwestern College graduate who became head women’s basketball coach in 2011, has guided the Red Raiders to a 189-72 record heading into the 2019–20 season for a win percentage of 72.4%. The 2012 squad won the NAIA Div. II national championship.

Dahl is a 1997 Northwestern College alumnus who had been head wrestling coach since 2008. Under his leadership, the Red Raiders have sent 55 wrestlers to the national tournament, crowned six All-Americans and had seven honored as NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Wede, a 2004 graduate of Mount Mercy University, became head coach of Northwestern’s baseball program in 2006. Northwestern’s all-time leader in wins with a 369-283 record, he has guided the Red Raiders to seven Great Plains Athletic Conference titles.

Korver, a 1992 Northwestern College alumnus, has been head men’s basketball coach since 2000. He is the all-time winningest coach in program history, as his teams accumulated a 438-172 overall record for a win percentage of 71.8% heading into the 2019–20 season. His squads won national championships in 2001 and 2003.