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LC hires former NAIA national champion volleyball coach

Dennis Janzen led Fresno Pacific University to six national titles, worked with national teams

Dennis Janzen, Lynden Christian's new volleyball coach, was a six-time national champion head coach and four-time NAIA National Coach of the Year, leading Fresno Pacific University women’s volleyball from 1983–2010. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Janzen)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Lynden Christian’s new volleyball coach, Dennis Janzen, is bringing much more to the court than just experience leading prep athletes.

Janzen, 71, is a six-time national champion head coach and four-time NAIA National Coach of the Year, leading Fresno Pacific University women’s volleyball from 1983–91 and again from 1994–2010.

He has also coached stints with the U.S. Men’s National Team, the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team, and most recently helped re-establish the men’s and women’s national teams in Singapore from 2018–19. In 2014, he volunteered on Diane Flick-Williams’ staff at Western Washington University.

“I don’t know if we have anybody in the community that’s got as much volleyball background as he does at the level that he does,” LC athletic director Brenda Terpstra said of Janzen.

Since moving to Lynden for retirement in 2014, Janzen has also led private coaching lessons with local athletes and continues to teach coaching courses as the founder and director of Paragon Coaching Resources and Paragon Sports Performance Consulting. He also has a Ph.D. in psychology of sport from the University of Southern California.

Janzen compiled an 867-168 (.838 winning percentage) career head coaching record at Fresno Pacific in his 26 seasons leading the program. He was also the athletic director at the university from 2004–13.

“[Coaching at LC] is not something that I originally — even a year ago or six months ago —would have thought I would be doing, but it just all seemed right,” Janzen said.

Janzen fills a vacancy left by Kristy VanEgdom, who resigned after last season to spend more time with her young children. VanEgdom, who was hired in 2021, finished with a 51-25 record in her career with the Lyncs.

That said, Janzen inherits a team that went 10-11 last season, had just one senior and missed the state tournament for the first time in 18 seasons. LC won three 1A state championships from 2014–18 under VanEdgdom’s predecessor, Kim Grycel, and finished second under VanEgdom in 2021.

Janzen will also have to adjust to the vast differences between high school and collegiate athletics, particularly.

“We don’t have the resources at Lynden Christian that I’m accustomed to, and yet that’s actually part of the fun, part of the challenge,” Janzen said. “If you coach people first, it doesn’t matter if they’re high school kids, or junior high kids, or college kids or professional kids. Coach people first, you’re going to have success. That’s one thing we really tried to do at Fresno, and that’s what I’m going to try to do here.”

Terpstra added she heard positive things from the Lyncs’ players who worked with him privately, and Janzen’s values aligned with LC’s. As a private Christian school, LC’s top priority in coach hirings is bringing in a “man or woman of faith who will pour into our kids,” Terpstra said, which immediately trims down the applicant pool. 

Janzen will be one of just three male high school volleyball coaches in the 16-team Northwest Conference, joining Sehome’s Clayton Sin and Mount Vernon’s Danny Dang.

Terpstra said she would like to have more female coaches leading girls sports, but also must prioritize the quality and experience of those they hire.

“It’s certainly something to think about, and not lightly,” Terpstra said. “I would love to have more women coaches in women’s sports, but I also value the quality … in this particular case, with Dennis’ experience, that’s tough. Not any other candidate really had anything close to his level of experience.”

In addition to his coaching duties with LC, Janzen will continue to serve as a volleyball consultant for Trinity Western University — a position he held from 2014–18 and resumed in 2023. 

“Dennis was brought to us at this time and at this place for these kids,” Terpstra said, “and we’re excited about the wealth of experience that he brings and certainly a different perspective when you look at the level that he’s been coaching at and teaching at.”

Connor J. Benintendi is CDN’s sports editor; reach him at; 360-922-3090 ext. 104.

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