Local News

Ross Douma Named GPAC Athletic Director of the Year

(Sioux City, Iowa) – Ross Douma from Dordt University (Iowa) has been selected as the 2022-23 Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Athletic Director of the Year. The award is voted on by the league’s athletic directors. This is a repeat honor for Douma, as he won the same honor last year.

Douma has been athletic director at Dordt University since 2017. Prior to that he served as the Associate Director of Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Dordt. Douma will depart Dordt at the conclusion of the fall semester to become President at Avail Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 2022-23 he guided the Defenders to their first ever first place finish in the GPAC All-Sports Trophy standings. Dordt University also claimed their first NAIA National Championship this past year with the men’s cross country team claiming the red banner. The Defenders claimed GPAC titles in women’s and men’s cross country, women’s basketball, men’s indoor track & field, and men’s outdoor track & field. The Dordt men’s basketball team won the conference tournament this past season.

While at the helm of the Defender Athletic Department he has expanded the Defender Gold Club, the lead fundraising initiative for the athletic department, helping to raise funds to create an impactful student-athlete experience. In addition, in just the last two years capital projects were finished including lights at the soccer complex, design & installation of a multi-level golf hitting facility and installed a new indoor track surface. This past year the American State Bank Sports Complex opened in Sioux Center. A joint effort between Dordt University and the City of Sioux Center. The ASB Sports Complex saw many events throughout the year, including numerous GPAC softball games including hosting the GPAC Softball Tournament Championship Series in May. Upcoming at Dordt University is a renovation to DeWitt Gymnasium.

Douma has also served as the GPAC Athletic Director Representative to the GPAC Council of Presidents (COP).

“His passion for Defender Athletics is evident, but his love for the GPAC and NAIA has continued to impress me year after year,” said Morningside University Athletic Director and colleague Jim Sykes. “He works tirelessly to make the GPAC and NAIA the best they can be while always keeping the interest of student-athletes at the forefront.”

“This past year was historic and special year for Dordt University,” said GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra. “Under Douma’s leadership Dordt athletics is in a very good place and the future is very bright. I respect and admire how he leads and keeps the mission of the university at the forefront. We will miss his leadership and friendship in the conference but know he will leave a strong legacy behind from his time in the GPAC and at Dordt.”

“The bottom line is that Ross is a first-rate leader,” said Dordt University President Erik Hoekstra. “He is driven for excellence because of his love for Jesus and from his desire to help student-athletes model this type of leadership not only during their time at Dordt, but throughout their entire lives following graduation.”

Douma will be the GPAC nominee for the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year.


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