2014 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA — Men's basketball coach Craig Douma has locked up one of his most significant recruits--Joe Steinkamp, who helped guide Central College to an Iowa Conference championship and NCAA Division III tournament berth, is returning to the Dutch coaching staff as the top varsity assistant.
A 2003 Central graduate, Steinkamp previously spent seven years as an assistant for the Dutch, but left following the 2011-12 campaign and spent the past year in private business in Sioux Falls, S.D.
He replaces Dave Stubbs, who resigned after one season.
Douma, who is entering his second year at Central, is thrilled to have Steinkamp back on the Dutch bench.
“Joe brings a passion for the game, a great knowledge of the game and a love for Central College,” he said. “Our relationship has really grown as we’ve had discussions about this for the past month and I’m more excited than ever about having Joe at Central. He understands what it takes to compete at the highest level.”
Steinkamp is eager to return.
“I just have a passion for Central basketball,” he said. “My time away made me realize how important it is to me. My family and I couldn’t be more excited about being back at Central and being part of the Central family.”
Steinkamp was a two-time letterwinner and the Central team co-captain in 2002-03. He spent the 2003-04 year as a graduate assistant women’s basketball coach atLorasCollegewhile pursuing a master’s degree. He was Central’s men’s junior varsity coach in 2004-05 and a volunteer assistant at Lewis University (Ill.) in 2005-06 before returning to Central as JV coach for 2006-07. He became the top varsity assistant the following year.
Central posted an 80-49 mark during Steinkamp’s five years as top varsity assistant, including a 23-5 mark in 2009-10. He sees bright days ahead for the program.
“Through my talks with (athletics director Eric Van Kley) and with Coach Douma, I really have the feeling that the program is headed for great things,” Steinkamp said. “We’ll build on the success we’ve had in the past and continue to work hard and find players who want to work hard, play for championships and compete at the highest level possible.”