Following a standout career as the head of the Northwestern College women’s basketball program, Chris Yaw has stepped down from his position after leading the Raiders the past 10 seasons.
Yaw ranks second on the program’s all-time list for both wins (224) and win percentage (70%), finishing his tenure with a 224-94 overall record. Raider teams qualified for the national tournament seven times under Yaw, winning the national title in his first season (2011-12) and reaching the semifinals three times (2013, 18, 19). His teams compiled a record of 18-6 in seven appearances at the NAIA championship and were ranked among the top 25 in the final coaches’ poll seven times. Before being named head coach, Yaw served as the lead assistant for seven seasons under Earl Woudstra, helping to guide the Raiders to three national titles.
“My time as an assistant and head coach in the women’s basketball program at Northwestern has been nothing short of a remarkable experience” said Yaw. “I have been able to witness God’s providence in bringing some extremely special and talented players and coaches together to share their gifts with one another. My family and I have been richly blessed by all those who have been part of the women’s basketball program.The Raider women’s basketball program is healthy and has a rich tradition in the GPAC and nationally. I believe that Raider athletics are well-established in the GPAC and across the country and will continue to grow under Dr. Parker’s leadership. I believe in Northwestern College and its commitment to provide a Christian academic experience with the goal of impacting students so that they may impact others. In addition to Dr. Micah Parker, I am grateful for the leadership of Barry Brandt, Earl Woudstra and Greg Christy. Through their personal approach of mentoring and leading, they have each made a long-standing impact on me throughout my experience as a coach at Northwestern. Last, I am blessed to have coached alongside and with some outstanding, God-loving and impactful men and women that have become dear friends. The Red Raider coaches and staff truly live a daily chase of a cause greater than their sport. They seek to reflect Christ and influence young lives. Raiders Stand Out.”
Northwestern qualified for the GPAC tournament in each of Yaw’s 10 seasons, finishing among the top five in one of the most competitive conferences in the NAIA eight times. The Raiders won both the GPAC regular and postseason titles in 2013-14, were co-regular season champs in 2019 and finished second in 2018 and 2012.
Yaw was named the NAIA Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year in 2012, and Raider teams were named both Scholar Teams and to the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor roll in all 10 of his seasons.
“Coach Yaw has been a blessing to Red Raider athletics,” stated Northwestern Vice President for Athletics Dr. Micah Parker. “He is a winner who accomplished a lot on the court and has had a positive impact on hundreds of student athletes. Coach Yaw would say none of the championships were his doing, but rather a reflection of how good God is to us. Selfishly, I’m disappointed I only got to work with him for one season. He will be the standard by which we look for another head coach and I know he will continue to be a huge supporter for Raider athletics. As our staff likes to say after a Raider win – Yawsome!”
A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.