Distinguished alumni

Paul Colenbrander Distinguished Service to Northwestern College

Colenbrander is recognized for building the foundation of success and influence that has thrived in Northwestern’s athletic department in the decades since he left the college. As the football and basketball coach in the 1950s, his teams were known as tough competitors at the junior college level, and he led the transition to four-year competition in the early 1960s. In 12 years of coaching basketball, his squads won more than 200 games, captured three state championships and advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament nearly every season. His 11 years as football coach were highlighted by a 15-game winning streak from 1953 to 1954. He later graduated from Western Theological Seminary and served 14 years as pastor of Maplewood Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. Since retiring, he has been active in construction and pulpit supply. He served 10 years on Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

Award year: 2006