June 12, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – Former Trinity Western men’s volleyball middle Dan Jansen Van Doorn (Langley), inked his first professional contract this past week as he signed on to join Tourcoing Lille Métropole of France’s Pro B league this fall.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound middle graduated from TWU this spring after an impressive five-year career in which he helped the Spartans to two CIS national championships, in 2011 and 2012, a CIS silver medal, in 2010, and four Canada West medals, including gold in 2012, silver in 2010 and 2013, and bronze in 2011. Individually, he was named a CIS tournament all-star for his efforts in guiding the Spartans to gold in 2012.
After training with Canada’s nation Senior “B” team last summer, Jansen Van Doorn was recently named to Canada’s 18-member roster for the FISU Games in Kazan, Russia July 4-19. Of those 18 players, 12 will travel to Kazan.
Initially, Jansen Van Doorn had planned on attending Canada’s Full-Time Training Centre in Gatineau, Que. this fall, but then, something of a surprise offer came from Tourcoing. And after Canadian national team coach Glenn Hoag – whose son Nicholas also plans to join Tourcoing this fall – encouraged Jansen Van Doorn to sign, it was an easy decision.
“I had heard good things about Tourcoing,” Jansen Van Doorn said. “The first person I talked to was one of my good friends, Chris Hoag, and he talked to his dad (Glenn), who said they had a really good coach and it would be a good environment to play in.
“It’s a fantastic league to start a career in. For a first year player with no professional experience, the contract was about as good as it gets.”
After five years of university volleyball, Jansen Van Doorn is confident he’s ready to take the next step.
“Ben Josephson (TWU head coach) has built such a quality program here and has set the bar very high,” he said. “Every day you came to the gym ready to improve and that obviously made into the player I am today.”
After battling through numerous injuries over his career, Jansen Van Doorn is also finally back to full health and ready to take on the challenges that come with professional volleyball.
“I’m feeling like the way I did in my first year at TWU,” he said. “Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. But, on the other hand, now I’m in a pool with a lot of big sharks and it’s going to take a lot of work to bring my game to the next level.”
When Jansen Van Doorn arrives in Tourcoing, a city in northern France along the Belgian border, this fall, he will be joining a team that was recently relegated to the Pro B league after spending the 2012-13 campaign in France’s top division. Tourcoing finished the season with a 4-22 record and at the bottom of the table.
Jansen Van Doorn is the second former Spartan to sign a professional contract in France this spring after Rudy Verhoeff (Calgary), who graduated in 2012, joined Chaumont Volley-Ball 52 Haute-Marne of the Pro A league in April.
Over the past couple of years, the Spartans French connection also extended to setter Josh Howatson, who played with Paris Volley of the Pro A league for the past two seasons.