It usually takes a lot of time between starting a college football program and seeing success on Saturdays. 2008 was the first year of varsity football at Dordt College and new head coach Joel Penner will try to lead the Defenders to the next level.
Dordt has never won more than two games in a season and in eight years of varsity football, the Defenders have an overall record of 12-75.
But building the Defenders into a strong program is a challenge Penner welcomes.
He says his experience turning football teams around makes him the right man for the job, but it’s a task he can’t do alone.
“We all got to get down and we’ve got to push hard,” he said. “We’ve got a hill to climb. The illustration I’ve given is, there’s a locomotive here, and it’s very heavy, and it’s going uphill, and it’s going to take all hands on deck. The thing about is, once that thing starts moving, that thing is very heavy, and it can get a lot of momentum. I think you need a spark to really get it going and I think some of those sparks are happening right now. And so the strategy going forward is get everybody on board to push, because it’s a lot of work.”
Penner also said he wouldn’t put a win total as a goal for 2016, rather he and his staff will stress process goals to build the program.