NAIA recognizes Harmsen, and two Dordt players

Dordt women’s basketball head coach Bill Harmsen was named NAIA National Coach of the Year. The GPAC Coach of the Year led the Defenders to a program-best 35 wins this season, the GPAC regular season title, the prgram’s first GPAC tournament title, and the team’s first ever NAIA national championship in its 50th year as a program.

Harmsen ends his sixth year at the helm of the Defenders, compiling an overall record of 153-47 while guiding the Defenders to five 20 win seasons, and two 30 win seasons, along with 5 NAIA national tournament trips and two NAIA national title games in 3 seasons.

“This is a very deserving honor for Coach Harmsen. He has done a tremendous job leading the women’s basketball program. Even as the team dealt with late-season injuries, he kept them focused on the next game rather than getting caught up in the future. He guided a very talented team and equipped them for success on the court. This team had high expectations for the season and met those expectations all season. Most importantly, Coach Harmsen is intentional in incorporating his faith and the Defender Way into his daily work. A deserving honor after an unforgettable season!” said interim Dordt University Director of Athletics Trent Roose.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2023-24 Women’s Basketball All-America Teams and Macy Sievers and Karly Gustafson earned first and third-team honors respectively.

The Defenders finished a historic season with the program’s first national title on Tuesday, March 26 and a 35-2 record.

Sievers led the team in scoring this season with a 12.6 points per game average with 6.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. She made 51 percent of her field goals and 37.5 percent of her three-point shots and was named to the All-GPAC First-Team and has the two highest single season assists totals in program history with 189 when she won GPAC Freshman of the Year honors and 253 this season as she also was named the NAIA National Championship Tournament MVP.

“This season Macy was adept at knowing what our team needed and when it needed it. It’s gratifying to see her recognized because she has been willing to sacrifice for the good of this team and much of what she does can go unnoticed by the casual observer. She truly makes the players around her better and she’s an extension of our coaching staff on the floor,” said Dordt head coach Bill Harmsen.

Gustafson earned third-team honors after claiming second-team honors last season. She averaged 12.4 points per game with 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and has earned All-GPAC honors five times and graduates as the all-time points (1976) and rebounds (1099) leader at Dordt. Gustafson is also seventh all-time in assists (312) and sixth in steals (172) and she was on the NAIA All-Tournament team in 2022 and 2024 and earned the Hustle Award at the National Championship in 2022. The Defenders are 133-35 in Gustafson’s five seasons.

“Karly adapted her game as teams made adjustments to slow her down. It isn’t a coincidence that the program’s rise paralleled her time here. She transitioned naturally into a mentor’s role to our younger players and has shown those who come after her how to perform at the highest level while not sacrificing any of the points of the Defender Way,” said Harmsen.