Posted: 8:48 am Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
By Matt Porter
Forest Hill football coach Chris Kokell was hoping his school would hire a football-minded athletic director.
He got one with 30-plus years of Division I coaching experience.
Following the June resignation of former athletic director Kristi Goodman, the West Palm Beach school hired Kurt Van Valkenburgh, a longtime assistant coach who was most recently at Florida Atlantic.
“I’m psyched,” Kokell said last Wednesday, when he informed a reporter of the impending news. “He helped build FAU from the ground up. That’s what we need to do here.”
The move was made official this week and follows the arrest of former Forest Hill assistant football coach Michael Dudeck, who was charged with falsifying athletes’ transcripts at a fake summer school he ran.
In December, Van Valkenburgh was not re-hired by new FAU coach Carl Pelini. The 63-year-old was one of Howard Schnellenberger’s first hires at FAU and at the time of his dismissal, was the only assistant who had been on staff since FAU’s first season, 1998.
In his final year at FAU, Van Valkenburgh served as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, he was a defensive assistant in several major college conferences and coached in five bowl games.
In 1996 at Purdue, Van Valkenburgh’s secondary set three defensive school records. In 1995 at Oklahoma, 1995, Van Valkenburgh’s defense ended the year ranked ninth against the rush and 15th overall.
He was a linebackers and secondary coach at Louisville from 1992-94. He coached linebackers at Maryland from 1986-92, was Vanderbilt’s defensive coordinator from 1982-85 and got his first D-I job in 1981, coaching Virginia’s secondary.
In the 1970s, he was defensive coordinator at Colgate and Union, and spent 1974 at undefeated SUNY Albany and Mohawk, N.Y. High.
Van Valkenburgh, a native of Schenectady, N.Y., played linebacker at Springfield (Mass.) College.