Dean Wagenaar


Dean Wagenaar graduated from college in 1989 with majors in English/ Language Arts and Education. He intended to teach/coach for several years, but his ultimate objective was to soon train to become a Washington State patrolman. However, due to Glenda’s, his wife, hesitancy and concerns about safety that transition into law enforcement never materialized. Instead, God had another focus for Dean’s life, and he continued to teach and coach at Sunnyside Christian and has just completed his 32nd year, the last 20 years as the SCHS Principal/Athletic Director. During that tenure Coach Wagenaar has been the Head Boys’ Varsity Basketball coach for 24 seasons.

What are some traits and characteristics that define Coach Wagenaar? First, he is a tireless laborer whose work ethic is incredible and respected by staff, parents, and other coaches. In his position with many responsibilities, Coach Wagenaar not only administrates and coaches but also teaches Biblical worldview classes, schedules all events and volunteers, drives bus, mows and sprays when necessary, and cleans anything that needs to be kept. Second, pertaining to coaching, Coach Wagenaar emphatically stresses sound fundamental player development. He is able to identify the potential in young men and through clear,

fair, and demanding expectations craft these young players to perform extraordinarily as a selfless, singular unit.

Coach Wagenaar has always been concerned with developing the whole athlete: body, mind, and soul! It has been my privilege to observe what transpires behind the scenes as Coach Wagenaar pours himself into equipping and empowering his players to be successful students and contributing members of society with a clear understanding of what it means to live out their Christian faith and love others. Early on in his coaching journey, Coach Wagenaar implemented the concepts of what is now identified as 3-Dimensional coaching, emphasizing all the dimensions but especially coaching players to develop an advanced mental understanding of the game, the ability “to think like a champion.”

Many SCHS players have enjoyed incredible state tournament experiences, including championships, and have created lifelong memories under Coach Wagenaar’s tenure. However, what supporters at SCS appreciate the most about Coach Wagenaar are all the life skills he teaches that transcend the game of basketball: respect, discipline, hard work, winning/losing with integrity, perseverance, and, most importantly, teaching players to utilize their God-given talents to glorify Christ. It is rewarding and reassuring to know that Coach Wagenaar deeply cares for each of the players and expects excellence on the court, in the classroom, and commitment on the path of Godly living. The friendships Coach Wagenaar has developed with his players extends far beyond high school, and his mentoring and role-modeling impacts these young men into their future lives.

Selection to the Hall of Fame is reserved for a elite group of coaches who are particularly illustrative of what it means to be a wholistic and complete coach. Dean Wagenaar characterizes these criteria in a manner that far exceeds any win-loss record or number of state titles because of his dedication to his family, players, and Biblical faith on a daily basis!

Dean and Glenda have been married for almost 33 years, have four wonderful children, Trevor, Danika, Luke, and Cole (incidentally, the boys have all thought their father coached them much harder than their teammates), and enjoy living lives filled with God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, and sanctification. Go Make A Positive Difference!