Holly VanNoordHolly VanNoord

Holly Van Noord has proven to be a winner on the soccer field as a student-athlete and a coach.

Now, the former NCAA Division I standout goalkeeper aims to build on the winning tradition of Hope College Women’s Soccer.

Van Noord, an assistant coach for the Flying Dutch for the past three seasons, has been named the seventh head coach in program history, Director of Athletics Tim Schoonveld announced.

Van Noord, a record-setter at Liberty University and Hudsonville Unity Christian High School, succeeds Dr. Leigh Sears, who stepped down after 23 seasons as head coach. Sears — Hope’s most successful women’s soccer coach with 270 victories and six MIAA titles — is moving into a full-time role as a faculty member with the college’s kinesiology department.

Schoonveld said Hope Athletics is thrilled to see Van Noord expand her role within the women’s soccer team and the entire department.

“Holly is an amazing person who will be a great addition to all we do here at Hope,” Schoonveld said. “She is a winner. She has been highly successful in all areas of her career and is an even better person. Her commitment to our pillars of academic success, competitive excellence and, most importantly, transforming the lives of our student-athletes is clearly evident. We want to welcome her to the team and are excited to see her impact on our department and women’s soccer program.”  

The Flying Dutch enter the 2024 soccer season this fall with a record of 394-200-56 for a .649 winning percentage.

Van Noord said she is incredibly excited and honored to be named head coach.

“Hope has a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I want to express my gratitude to Leigh for her leadership and mentorship over the past three years I’ve been an assistant. I’ve witnessed firsthand the impactful culture she has created within the program, which fosters both athletic excellence and personal growth for our student-athletes,” Van Noord said. “I look forward to building upon the program's success and working with these talented women to achieve their full potential on and off the field. I also want to thank Tim and the entire Hope committee who entrusted me with the opportunity to lead this incredible program.”

Sears said she is excited to see Van Noord lead Hope.

“In her time at Hope, Holly has been an invaluable addition to our staff and has shown great care for the program and the players,” Sears said. “Not only is she an incredible person, but she's also a fierce competitor with a wealth of playing experience and a proven ability to teach the game. Culturally, she's a perfect fit, and I look forward to watching the program continue to thrive under her leadership.”

Elliot Slenk will continue as associate head coach for the Flying Dutch, Van Noord said.

Van Noord recently completed her sixth season as the Hudsonville High School girls soccer coach this spring. The Eagles finished the 2024 season with a 14-2-2 overall record 

Hudsonville posted an 83-22-16 overall record (.752) during Van Noord’s tenure and was the MHSAA Division 1 state runner-up in 2023. Van Noord taught physical education and health at Hudsonville. 

During the fall, Van Noord helped the Flying Dutch post a 33-12-10 record over three soccer seasons, including a 10-2-6 mark this past season. 

Van Noord holds a master’s degree in teaching and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Liberty.

Van Noord was a member of the Liberty women’s soccer team from 2012 to 2016 and became the Flames’ first Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year (2014, 2016). Van Noord set a Big South Conference record with 34 career shutouts.

In high school, Van Noord established state records with 75 career shutouts for Unity Christian and 24 single-season shutouts in 2011. Van Noord led the Crusaders to three MHSAA Division 3 state titles and one Division 3 state runner-up finish.