Coach Van Dyke's name was submitted to the conference champions of character committee for their consideration and was selected from the list of candidates. The nominees must demonstrate teaching character through drills and techniques and illustrate how they embrace the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative and athletic achievement.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Coach Van Dyke," said Director of Athletics, Gary McIntosh. "He demonstrates the Champions of Character core values on the court, but most importantly of all, he also models them off the court which sets such a great example for his players and staff."
In his 14 year coaching career which began at NU, Coach Van Dyke has developed a successful basketball program at the school winning 221 games, No. 20 on the NAIA coaches list; developed numerous all-conference players and several NAIA All-Americans; and sharing in a CCC championship in 2012. His teams have also made four trips to the NAIA Division II National Championships since 2007. However, his players understand that winning does not totally define them as individuals.
"Coach repeatedly states we don't define success by winning and losing and this focus is impressive," stated senior team captain, Michael Greene. "Every year we have a team retreat where we come up with core values for the season; values that we want our team to embody. Throughout the year, Coach Van Dyke speaks to these values and holds us accountable to backing up these words with our actions."
Said Northwest University President, Joseph Castleberry about Coach Van Dyke, "…His teams have qualified for the national tournament three years in a row…But he never gives his players the idea that winning on the basketball court suffices. Their career in intercollegiate sports passes by too fast to constitute a priority for their development."
Coach Van Dyke's named will now be submitted to the NAIA as a candidate for the national award.
About winning the award, Coach Van Dyke commented, "This award is very humbling and I am more than flattered; but the truth is that this award reflects the culture of our basketball program and the people in it. I'm lucky to be part of it."
The winner of the NAIA national award will be announced in December 2013.