Mike Vander Molen (pictured) will succeed Ed Mulder as the girls basketball coach at Ripon Christian High School.

One year after winning section title, Ripon Christian names new girls coach

James Burns

RIPON — Ed Mulder has stepped down as the girls basketball coach at Ripon Christian, but he leaves the program in capable hands.

Mike Vander Molen has been selected to succeed Mulder, who dominated the small-school division for nearly a decade.

“Coach Mulder has been an excellent coach,” Vander Molen said in a press release. “I hope to maintain and possibly raise the high standard of basketball he has led at Ripon Christian.”

Under Mulder, Ripon Christian made nine consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearances and won three Southern League championships. In 2018, the Knights lifted its first section banner in 16 years with a 52-46 victory over top-seeded Forest Lake Christian in the Division VI final.

In nine seasons, Mulder was 164-85. His tenure began with four consecutive 20-win seasons.

In a press release, Ripon Christian athletic director Kevin Tameling said Mulder looked forward to spending more time with his family.

“Mulder’s greatest impact was his ability to help guide and mold the young ladies in their life and faith,” Tameling said. “He will continue to be an ardent supporter of the basketball program and all other teams at Ripon Christian, and looks forward to spending more time with his family.”

Vander Molen returns to his alma mater after a decorated career as a boys basketball coach around the region. He was the Central California Conference’s coach of the year twice during a stint at Beyer High, earning the award in 2000 and again in 2004. In 2015, he was the Modesto Metro Conference Coach of the Year while coaching at Gregori.

In the coming weeks, Vander Molen will reach out to returning players and organize open gyms.

“Mike is very excited to coach again and especially excited to coach at a Christian school,” Tameling said in the release.

Contact James Burns at frontrowpreps@gmail.com or on Twitter @jburns1980.