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Peter Stuursma is returning to Hope College to become head football coach.

Stuursma, 44, was one of the most successful high school coaches in the state, guiding East Grand Rapids to seven state championships in 16 years, including five straight Division 3 titles from 2006-10.

“Coach Stuursma has a track record of providing transformational experiences and competitive excellence as a head coach and an administrator,” said Hope College co-director of athletics Tim Schoonveld. “He possesses the qualities we identified when we began the process of finding a new leader for our football program.”

Stuursma graduated from Hope in 1993. He was co-captain his senior year, playing running back and on special teams.

“I am truly excited to return to Hope College, a place that has meant so much to my family and me,” said Stuursma who guided East Grand Rapids to 162-34 record (.826 winning percentage) and 13 state playoff appearances. “I look forward to working with the many young people, not only within our program but within the entire Hope community.”

Stuursma replaces Dean Kreps, who had been Hope’s head coach since 1995. He had an outstanding record in the MIAA (83-42-0) during his 21 years, but was just 26-55 in non-conference games.

Hope finished 2-8 this past fall, winless in six conference games. Hope’s last MIAA title was in 2007.