Douma resigns as Head Basketball Coach at D3 Central College (IA)

After a 10-year run that produced two NCAA Division III tourney appearances, Craig Douma said he will resign as Central College men’s basketball coach following the season.
Douma piloted the Dutch to the 2013-14 Iowa Conference title and was named the conference coach of the year. His squads won league tournament crowns in 2014 and 2016 and advanced to the conference tourney title game four times. During his tenure Central players received all-conference honors 17 times.
“It’s one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in my life,” Douma said. “But chapters of your life change, God calls us to new pathways and I really think God’s calling me to something different right now.
“But I can’t thank Central College and (athletics director) Eric Van Kley enough for giving me this opportunity. We love Pella, we love Central and I would never change these past 10 years. I got a chance to be a part of a lot of kids’ lives and we had a lot of success here.”
Van Kley is appreciative of Douma’s efforts.
“We’re grateful for all that Coach Douma has given to Central and the Central men’s basketball program,” he said. “He’s a tireless worker who has been truly committed to Central College since the day he arrived, pouring his heart into the program. Through all the highs and lows, what’s always been evident is how much he cares about his players and their development. I’m confident that he will continue finding ways to make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
Van Kley said the college is launching an immediate search for a successor. Central’s men’s basketball program has captured 17 conference championships and made 11 NCAA tournament appearances. The college recently completed a renovation and expansion of P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium through the $18 million Forever Dutch® initiative.
“We will work hard to identify the right person to lead our program, not only in competing for more championships but in fostering our student-athletes’ growth in the classroom and in their daily lives,” Van Kley said.
Douma sees good things ahead for the Dutch, who endured some struggles this year but continues making steady improvement, picking up two road wins last week
“I think there’s a really bright future here,” he said. “It’s a young squad with a lot of promise. They’re top-quality young men who epitomize what Central stands for and I’m proud of each one of them. I know that Central will find a really good replacement and I think it will be a positive thing for these guys. They’re going to be really competitive in the next few years.”
Douma is a 1994 graduate of Northwestern College, where he was a two-time NAIA All-America player. He’s the third-leading scorer in school history with 2,276 points and is a member of the Red Raider Hall of Fame. He also received the Red Raider Coach of the Year Award following Central’s 2013-14 championship season. A Maurice-Orange City High School standout, Douma was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Prior to joining the Central staff in 2012, Douma posted a 268-78 record over 15 seasons as a high school coach, with eight conference titles. He took three Carroll High School teams to the state tournament in six seasons after coaching nine years at South O’Brien High School.
Central is 115-128 during Douma’s tenure. The Dutch are 6-16 overall and 3-11 in league games with home-court contests remaining with Buena Vista University at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Simpson College at 4 p.m. Saturday. The games are part of women’s-men’s doubleheaders at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.

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