Joel DePagter has begun his tenure as the head coach at Lawrence University with the same great success he experienced as a player and an assistant coach with the Vikings.
Elevated to the position of head coach in April 2007 after spending the previous four seasons as an assistant, DePagter’s Vikings won the Midwest Conference championship and Midwest Conference Tournament titles in 2008 and 2009 and played in the NCAA Division III Tournament in both seasons.
DePagter, a native of Sheboygan, Wis., won 2009 Coach of the Year honors after leading his team to its second consecutive conference title and MWC Tournament title.
DePagter hit several firsts with the award. He is the first man in Midwest Conference history to be named the Coach of the Year and the Player of the Year. Also, he is the first coach to win conference championships in his first two seasons as head coach.
DePagter played three seasons at Lawrence and is regarded as one of the greatest players in school history. He was named first-team All-Midwest Conference all three years (1996, 1997 and 1998), and was chosen as the conference Player of the Year in 1997. DePagter was inducted into the Lawrence University Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
DePagter led the Vikings to a 22-3 record and the 1997 conference championship, Lawrence’s first league crown in 54 years. The Vikings also played in their first NCAA Division III Tournament that season.
DePagter is eighth on Lawrence’s career scoring list with 1,243 points. He is first in career assists (357) and steals (211). DePagter has three of the top four seasons in school history for assists and holds the record at 137. He is 1-2-3 on the season steals list and holds the mark at 77.
A 1998 Lawrence graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history, DePagter served as an assistant coach for the Vikings in the 1999-2000 season.
DePagter, who received his master’s degree in sports administration from Central Michigan University, also coached for single seasons at Eureka College and Hillsdale College. He returned to Lawrence in 2003. The Vikings won three straight Midwest Conference and MWC Tournament championships from 2004-06 with DePagter as an assistant coach. Lawrence also was ranked No. 1 during the 2005-06 season.
As a player, DePagter helped the Vikings to a 42-19 record. With DePagter as an assistant coach, Lawrence has compiled a 97-33 mark.
DePagter also coached the Lawrence men's golf team from the fall of 2004 until 2011, and the Vikings won the MWC championship in 2005.
DePagter and his wife, Alicia, live in Appleton and have two daughters, Adina and Arabella.