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‘Coach V’ Gets Two Thumbs Up From Past College Teams

HPU’s Darren Vorderbruegge

HPU’s Darren Vorderbruegge

Hawaii Pacific University men’s basketball head coach Darren Vorderbruegge’s impact at his previous coaching stops soon will be recognized by two former schools.

He will be inducted into the Northwest Missouri State University Athletics Hall of Fame for his role as an assistant coach on its 2001-2002 men’s basketball team. “I was so fortunate to be a part of the team being inducted at Northwest Missouri,” stated Vorderbruegge, a longtime Hawaii Kai resident. “The group of young men on that squad bought into the ‘power of team’ that Coach (Steve)

Tappmeyer teaches, and it was reflected in the success they experienced.”

That team posted a 29-3 overall record and made it all the way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament. (The Bearcats averaged 25 wins a year during Vorderbruegge’s time there.) Vorderbruegge and the Bearcats will be inducted Oct. 17 in a ceremony in Maryville, Mo.

Tappmeyer, who was the head coach of the ’01-’02 Bearcat team, acknowledged Vorderbruegge’s impact in assembling NMSU’s roster: “Coach V was a huge part of this team and the Northwest basketball program. Vord was the key recruiter for the majority of these players,” said Tappmeter. “Just as important as the recruiting was his on-floor coaching, and his leadership was extremely valuable.”

Vorderbruegge also was recently selected as Bethany College Alumni Coach of the Year. The award was established in 2007 to honor a “former Bethany College student or graduate who has directed and coached a secondary or collegiate varsity sport team or teams to a level of performance which is recognized as outstanding by those associated with that particular varsity sport.”

Vorderbruegge spent four years as a standout student-athlete for the Swedes, graduating in 1987. He will accept his award from Bethany College Oct. 12 at a presentation in Lindsborg, Kan.

“It is has been a pleasure being part of these honors,” he said. “Being recognized as an alumni coach from Bethany is very special to me. It was 30 years ago that I was at Bethany, and some incredible people like Clair Oleen, Joyce Pigge and Jim Krob had a significant impact on my decision to become a coach and how I have approached that profession.”

Three days after his induction ceremony at Bethany, Vorderbruegge and HPU will begin preparations for the 2014-15 season here in Hawaii. The Sharks were 15-13 last year, including a 12-2 record at home. HPU opens its season Nov. 6 with an exhibition game against University of Hawaii at Stan Sheriff Center.