|Dennis Janzen has guided the Sunbirds to 21 consecutive winning seasons. The long list of accomplishments includes 12 Golden State Athletic Conference championships,10 NAIA District/Region titles and the NAIA national championship in 1989 and 2003. His last 15 teams, 1989 through 2005 (excluding 1992 and 1993 when he was on study leave), have all appeared in the NAIA national championship tournament.
Janzen's success has not been limited to the Sunbirds. In 1992 he accepted an invitation to spend seven months in San Diego assisting in the development and training of the United States Men's Olympic Team. He has also served as an assistant coach with the men's programs at Penn State and the University of Southern California. He has also served as both an assistant and head coach at the US Olympic Festival. It is an impressive list of accomplishments and has established Janzen as one of the most respected small college coaches in the United States.
"FPU gave me a unique opportunity way back in 1983, and I'm very appreciative of that," said Janzen. "I've been fortunate to work with some of the best folks I could ever imagine. We've been blessed with some great athletes over the years, too, which has enabled us to build something special here."
A native of nearby Reedley, Janzen also serves the university as director of athletic development. He graduated from Reedley High School in 1970, and after two years at Reedley College, transferred to Tabor College (Kansas) where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and health in 1975. He completed a master's degree in physical education at the University of Northern Colorado in 1980, and is currently working toward a doctorate in sports psychology (abd) at USC.
"I think athletics at FPU goes beyond the typical university athletic experience," Janzen continued. "It is much more than winning. It's about building people through meaningful growth and challenge. It's about exploring who you are athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. It is being a part of this unique opportunity for our student-athletes which I love and appreciate. It is why I am here."
He and wife Jeanne live in nearby Clovis and are active members of the Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church. They are the parents of two children, Michael (19) and Annemarie (13)