GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kevin Vande Streek is retiring as the head coach of Calvin College’s men’s basketball program.
“It is certainly with deep and mixed emotions that I move from what has been my life’s work, but this is a decision that I feel is right,” Vande Streek said in a Thursday statement. “God has blessed me in my time as coach, has helped me through this process, and will continue to guide my life. I will cherish the relationships that I have been able to build with players, coaches and so many others in my time as a coach.”
Vande Streek has led the program for 23 years, the longest tenure in Calvin history.
With a 435-208, he has led the Knights to nine MIAA championships. The crowning achievement was a national championship in 2000. He was also the national coach of the year.
“As a player, coach Vande Streek has increased my IQ like crazy. He’s the best coach I’ve ever played for — (a) basketball genius. As a person, me coming from a public school, I have really grown in my faith since I’ve been at Calvin. He’s made me a better person overall,” said Calvin senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez.
“What a lot of people don’t know is he is salt of the earth — one of the best guys you’ll ever meet. (He’s a) great character, great integrity, all of the above. So he’s meant the world to us and he’ll really be missed,” said Calvin junior Alex Bos.
Calvin is in the early stages of searching for Vande Streek’s replacement. They’re putting together a search committee and Athletic Director Jim Timmer has a wish list.
“Somebody who embodies what we want in the mission of the college, somebody who understands where athletics fits… in our total mission of the college — that’s what we’re looking for. That can come from any walk of life. We’re trying to make an impact in the world… both on the floor and in every square inch of what we touch,” said Timmer.
As for Vande Streek, he will continue to serve as a professor and administrator at Calvin, the college said.