Faith Baptist Bible College is excited to announce the hiring of Zak Kirkman as the new head women’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director of athletic recruiting, athletic facilities, and game day operations. Zak’s wife, Talitha, will join the athletic staff as the sports information director and assistant women’s basketball coach. The Kirkman’s duties begin August 1. Both are recent graduates of Calvary University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Zak has been a leader throughout his young career, serving as team captain of the Calvary University men’s basketball team his junior and senior seasons. He was a residence life director at Calvary and was part of the NIKAO Leadership Institute, which focuses on developing young leaders and mentoring students. Kirkman coached youth basketball teams in the Northwest Arkansas Homeschool organization and was respected by his coach at Calvary University so highly that he was named a player-coach. He was also the senior class president at Calvary in 2020-21.

Zak has been successful in his basketball career, earning numerous awards during his high school playing days, including All-American Honorable Mention. During his collegiate career, he helped Calvary to a north regional championship and was a two-time All-Conference and an All-Region performer for the Warriors.

Zak values discipleship and Christian growth in his players. Those were key factors in the Kirkman’s interest in moving to Ankeny.

“I am excited to be involved in Faith athletics because of their (student-athletes) desire to be competitive while having their utmost priority be growing in the Lord,” said Kirkman. “I look forward to taking my passion for basketball and my eagerness to disciple leaders to Faith! Talitha and I can’t wait to see how God uses the women’s basketball team this year and for years to come.”

Zak’s former college coach, Matt Sanders, had this to say about Zak. “Zak is a hardworking, Christ-loving young man who comes from an incredible family who really loves the Lord….he comes from an absolutely fantastic pedigree of basketball coaching from his mom and his dad, who were both high-level players and coaches in the high school ranks….you are getting an all-around solid young man, and he and his wife are going to be an incredible addition to what you do there at Faith.”

The Kirkmans have roots in Western Michigan (Talitha) and Arkansas (Zak) that they can tap into during their recruiting efforts. They both enjoy exploring new coffee shops and fellowshipping with others. Zak enjoys golf and disc golf. Faith Athletics Director Brian Fincham is excited to have the two of them on board.

“We are very excited to welcome Zak and Talitha to the athletics department,” said Fincham. “Zak was a great competitor on the court, and I enjoyed getting to know him as we competed. As we became more familiar with him and Talitha through the interview process, it became clear that they have a love for discipling others and a hunger to reach into the lives of our student-athletes to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. Zak comes from a coaching family, has a great grasp of the game, and has had success as a player. We’re excited to see him lead our women’s program and are looking forward to working with him and Talitha in the department.”