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This spring season is Kruger Van Biljon’s last at the helm of Davenport. He’s been with the program since its inception five years ago, and the head coach the last four seasons. Phil Eloff, who’s assisted Van Biljon over the years, is also leaving the program.
“The time commitment is a little too much with my job at this time,” said Van Biljon. “It’s just not right to the players that I can’t be 100-percent committed anymore.”
Like Van Biljon, Eloff is leaving because of increased responsibility with his day job. The former Eagle used to commute two-and-a-half hours each way from Chicago, but a new job has put a clamp on his time. The coaching positions at Davenport are not full-time.
Under Van Biljon, Davenport won two DI-AA National Championships, reached back-to-back 7s National Championship tournaments and ascended to DI-A.
“There’s a lot of positives to take out of it – the progression of how quickly we moved up through the ranks – that’s the biggest thing,” said Van Biljon, looking back.
“We can measure ourselves with the best of the country, not just the best of the Midwest. That was always a goal of mine, to progress through the system and make sure these guys want to play the best in the country. I accomplished that. We struggled a little bit last year, but this year it’s obviously much more competitive. You can see that in the scores. We are catching up and progressing the way we want to progress.”
The search for Van Biljon’s replacement is already well underway, as candidates have been interviewed.