Alex Durbin is returning to Dordt University, but this time it is as a coach.

Durbin, who has been serving as the girls soccer coach at Western Christian High School, has been named the coach of the women’s soccer team for the Defenders.

The 2017 Dordt graduate played four seasons for the men’s soccer team and earned All-Great Plains Athletic Conference first-team honors at the conclusion of the 2016 season. His 22-goal senior season is the second most in Dordt’s history and is the most goals scored in the program since 1991. He went on to serve as a graduate assistant with the Dordt women’s and men’s volleyball programs under Chad Hanson 2017-19 and was part of a staff that guided the Defender women to a NAIA national runner-up finish in 2017 and a NAIA national quarterfinal finish in 2018.

Durbin played semipro soccer Kaw Valley in Kansas in 2018 and 2019, where he served as a team captain for the Sporting Kansas City affiliate club.

“Accepting this position was a joy to make and an easy decision,” Durbin said in a news release from Dordt. “To be able to share my passion for soccer through coaching is a dream come true.

“What makes accepting this position even better is being able to do it at an institution I have grown to love. Dordt University has offered so much to me so being able to give back to the community is something I look forward to. I’m eager to get in the practice gym with the women and start making strides that will prepare us for next season.”

The Defender women’s soccer team posted a 10-8-1 overall mark and a 7-4-1 GPAC record in 2019 under longtime head coach Bill Elgersma who announced his intention to retire from coaching in October. Dordt had six seniors on this year’s roster and return over 75 percent of its offense from 2019. Durbin was a volunteer assistant with the 2019 team.

Kieft plays for Minnesota in bowl win

Ko Kieft, a 2016 Sioux Center High School graduate, was a part of the action as the University of Minnesota capped its best season football season in more than a century with a 31-24 victory over Auburn University in the Outback Bowl on Wednesday.

The upset of the ninth-ranked Tigers put the 16th-ranked Gophers at 11-2 overall. Minnesota, which began the season with nine straight victories before losing two of its last three to Big Ten Conference rivals Iowa and Wisconsin, finished with more than 10 wins for the first time since 1904. It was just the second time the Gophers have played in a New Year’s Day game since making back-to-back trips to the Rose Bowl in 1960 and 1961.

Kieft, a redshirt junior tight end, has been in and out of the starting lineup for the Gophers for the past two seasons. He has played in 36 games over the last three seasons, but the 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pounder is not a big part of the Minnesota passing game. He has only three career receptions. Instead, he focuses on blocking for a rushing attack that produced nearly 180 yards per game on an offense that scored just over 34 points per contest.

First dual team wrestling rankings out

The Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association came out with its first high school dual team rankings of the year on Dec. 27.

The IWCOA ranks 24 teams in Class 3A and 16 in Class 2A and Class 1A.

West Sioux is third in the Class 1A rankings, behind only Lisbon and Don Bosco of Gilbertville. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock is ranked 15th in Class 2A. The Falcons and the Lions were the only N’West Iowa teams on the list.