Lynden hired defensive coordinator Blake Van Dalen as its new head coach Tuesday, according to Lynden athletic director Mike McKee.
Van Dalen takes over for beloved head coach Curt Kramme, who died April 22 due to complications with cancer. Van Dalen graduated from Lynden in 1990 and was hired as a math teacher at the school in 1997, where he coached with Kramme for 20 years.
“I’m definitely excited and happy, but more importantly I’m grateful for an amazing opportunity,” Van Dalen said. “Knowing what we’ve been through the last couple of weeks, to get to be a part of the legacy he helped create is amazing. It’s been such a privilege to work with him the last 20 years.”
McKee said the factors influencing the choice of Van Dalen were consistency and success.
“We wanted to give the kids the best chance to be successful, and we feel Blake was the best candidate for the position,” McKee said. “We’ve had successful teams in his time here, and the system will stay the same.”
Before his hiring, Van Dalen and McKee met on multiple occasions for several hours at a time, according to Van Dalen. Van Dalen also said he met with about 20 student-athletes Tuesday, and the thing they wanted most was consistency.
“It was truly inspiring to hear their words,” Van Dalen said. “It was a vote of confidence that the players feel like we’re all in this battle together.”