Kevin Van Haitsma has been named the head coach of the Calvin women's tennis program. Van Haitsma takes over the reins from Dr. Jerry Bergsma who will remain at Calvin as its head women's golf coach and as a professor in the Calvin kinesiology department.
A 2005 Calvin College graduate, Van Haitsma is no stranger to the Calvin tennis program. While a student at Calvin, he was a four-year member of the Calvin men's tennis, earning a spot on the All-MIAA first team in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Van Haitsma was a three-year starter at No. 1 singles before suffering an off-season injury prior to his senior year. Courageously, Van Haitsma fought back to not only play his senior year in 2005, but also work his way up to the No. 2 singles spot. His comeback story was profiled on the Calvin website at: Kevin Van Haitsma Knightfile story.
Van Haitsma was graduated from Calvin in 2005 with a double major of business and physical education. He is a native of Hudsonville and a graduate of Hudsonville Unity Christian High School.
He later served as an assistant coach with the Calvin women's tennis team under Bergsma from November of 2005 through the conclusion of the 2009 season.
VanHaitsma is currently the operations and tennis manager at the Michigan Athletic Club in southeast Grand Rapids. At the Michigan Athletic Club (MAC), he oversees the 110,000 square foot facility while also supervising the club's tennis programs. He is a licensed USPTA professional and also holds PTR certifications for adult and junior tennis development.
Prior to arriving at the Michigan Athletic Club, he was a teaching professional at Orchard Hills Swim and Sports Club in Grand Rapids. At Orchard Hills, he served as the travel team director for men's and women's tennis and as an individual tennis instructor.
Van Haitsma's wife Rachel (Strikwerda) Van Haitsma is a former Calvin women's tennis player and a key player on Calvin's 2010 team that captured MIAA regular season and post-season tournament titles and advanced to the second round of the NCAA III Tournament. His brother-in-law John Strikwerda is currently a member of the Calvin men's tennis team.
"I have a deep love for Calvin and also for the game of tennis," said Van Haitsma. "Coaching tennis at Calvin is a dream job for me and I am extremely excited for this opportunity. I am looking forward to continuing the excellence that Jerry (Bergsma) has established in the program. He has mentored many student-athletes at Calvin and I am grateful to him for mentoring me as a young assistant coach and for leading the women's tennis program for many years."
Calvin director of women's athletics Dr. Nancy Meyer is excited for Van Haitsma taking over the position as head women's tennis coach. "We feel very fortunate to have a candidate of Kevin's caliber apply for this position," said Meyer. "Kevin brings tremendous energy, passion, and experience into our Women's Tennis program. Kevin knows and loves Calvin and is eager to continue the strong tradition built by Jerry Bergsma. Kevin is an excellent teacher of the game and knows what it takes to play at the highest level."
This past year, the Calvin women's tennis team finished tied for fourth in the MIAA regular season standings and qualified for the four-team MIAA tennis tournament for the third straight year.
The 2013 Calvin women's tennis team included two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and two freshmen.