Johan Dulfer Named Ithaca's New Volleyball Coach

Johan Dulfer Named Ithaca's New Volleyball Coach

ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca College Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports Susan Bassett '79 announced the hiring of Johan Dulfer as the eighth head coach of an Ithaca College volleyball program.

A national search was conducted to find the next head coach of an Ithaca program that is coming off a 31-5 record in 2015, an Empire 8 championship, and the school's 18th all-time appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.

The search committee identified Dulfer, who served as head coach at Clarkson University and turned the Golden Knights into a national power, as the best coaching candidate to lead the Bombers. Coach Dulfer officially takes the reigns of Ithaca's volleyball program on March 7, 2016.

"Johan Dulfer is a nationally-known leader in the sport of volleyball.  His impressive credentials are punctuated by the high level of sustained Liberty League and NCAA success achieved by his Clarkson University program," Bassett said. "Johan's professionalism and attention to detail came through in our rigorous search process.  He is committed to the scholar-athlete ideal and the values of sportsmanship and integrity so dear to our IC tradition. I'm confident that he will provide an outstanding experience for the students in our volleyball program and be a great teammate within our coaching staff.  Johan is an exceptional coach who I am proud to welcome to Ithaca College and our Bomber athletics family."

Dulfer guided Clarkson to seven straight NCAA appearances and four consecutive trips to the Elite Eight during his tenure, and his teams compiled a 270-115 record (.701 winning percentage) in his 10 seasons at Clarkson.

"I would like to thank Director of Athletics, Susan Bassett, Associate Athletic Director, Michelle Manning, and the entire search committee for the honor of becoming Ithaca's next women's volleyball coach," said Dulfer, who earned Liberty League Coach of the Year honors four times and was named AVCA New York Region Coach of the Year in 2013, 2014, and 2015. 

"Clarkson University has been such a great place to call home for the past 10 years and I will always cherish my green and gold volleyball family. Ithaca represents a new chapter in our lives and my family, Avery, Liam and I, are looking forward to joining our new Bomber family."

Under the guidance of Dulfer, the Golden Knights won five Liberty League tournament championships (four straight from 2012-15), and four regular-season league titles in the past seven seasons while winning 219 matches in that span.

Dulfer takes over for Janet Donovan, who coached the Bombers for 24 seasons with 13 trips to the NCAA tournament during her tenure. Donovan resigned in January to spend more time with her family.

Dulfer inherits a talented Ithaca squad that graduates one senior and returns three AVCA All-Americans: sophomores Joelle Goldstein and Kayla Gromen, and freshman Katie Evans

"Ithaca is known for providing the best in what being a student-athlete is all about in my opinion," Dulfer said. "At IC, students receive an unparalleled education as well as an opportunity to represent their alma mater on the highest stage in Division III athletics. I look forward to helping the volleyball program reach its goals of representing Ithaca in the most favorable light in the classroom, on the court and in the community."

Dulfer brings plenty of experience to South Hill. Following a seven-win season in his first year at Clarkson (2006), Dulfer's team rebounded to win 23 matches in 2007, a 16-win improvement as Dulfer and his staff earned Coaching Staff of the Year honors from the Liberty League.

That started a stretch of nine straight seasons posting 20 or more wins, with four straight 30-plus win seasons from 2012-2015.

Prior to his time at Clarkson, Dulfer was the first assistant coach at Division I James Madison University, helping the program post a 45-36 record (.555 winning percentage) during his three seasons.

Dulfer was also a student assistant at the University of Minnesota on two separate occasions, and served as the head coach at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 1998.

Dulfer, a native of the Netherlands, published a book in 2013 on his experiences coaching volleyball, "A Program with Purpose: Thoughts on Building a Successful Volleyball Program."

Dulfer has also served as program director and an assistant coach of the Iroquois-Empire High Performance Program, and has coached several touring international club teams. He earned master's degrees from both the University of Minnesota in 2003 and the University of Groningen in 2001.