Ripon Christian athletic director Kevin Tameling has announced the hiring of Mike Vander Molen as girls basketball coach.
He replaces Ed Mulder, who retired from coaching earlier this month. Mulder guided the Knights to three league titles, the 2018 Sac-Joaquin Section Division V crown and 164-85 record in the past nine years. Ripon Christian hadn’t claimed a girls basketball SJS championship since Mulder’s daughter, Kayla, helped the team do it in 2002. His other children, Lynae and Eddie, are also former standout athletes for RC.
“Coach Mulder has been an excellent coach,” Vander Molen said in a statement released by Tameling. “I hope to maintain and possibly raise the high standard of basketball he has led at Ripon Christian.”
The Vander Molen name is a familiar one at Ripon Christian.
Mike Vander Molen was part of the Knights’ 1988 CIF State Division V championship team coached by his dad, Ron Sr. His brother, Ron Jr., had two stints spanning 15 years as RC’s boys basketball coach, and they each have sons who starred in multiple sports at the school. Mike’s wife, Julie, teaches at Ripon Christian’s elementary school, and their youngest of three children will be a junior at the high school.
Mike Vander Molen teaches health and physical education at Gregori High in Modesto and previously served as boys basketball coach at Gregori and Beyer. He earned Coach of the Year honors in the Modesto Metro Conference in 2015 and Central California Conference in 2000 and 2004.
“As a Ripon Christian Graduate and Parent, Coach Vander Molen is very familiar with the Christ-centered education at RC and will be a great asset in fostering an environment that exemplifies the standards of the school’s athletic department,” Tameling said in the statement. “Mike is very excited to coach again and especially excited to coach at a Christian school.”