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Grace College Head Men’s Basketball Coach retires after 42 seasons

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WINONA LAKE, Ind.—Grace College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Kessler announced on Monday that his current season coaching the Lancers will be his last.

During the press conference, Kessler thanked his team, his family, and Grace College for the last 42 seasons he has spent coaching at Grace College.

“I am absolutely at peace, I am happy with this. Even a marathon has a finish line. That’s it, I’m at the finish line,” Kessler said about his decision to retire.

Kessler began his journey as head coach at Grace College in 1977. Since then, he has racked up 770 career wins going into the 2019 season and he ranks #1 among NAIA Division II active coaches.

“I’ve run hard I’ve done my best to finish strong and it’s now time to pass the baton to the next lancer coach and I genuinely feel that the time has come for me to pass this baton and cheer for one of my protégées,” Kessler said.

Kessler will pass the title of head coach onto his current associate head coach, Scott Moore, who was once a point guard for Kessler at Grace College.

However, Kessler won’t be leaving Grace College completely.

He will remain on staff as a special assistant to the athletic director, Chad Briscoe.

With 10 conference championships and 19 national tournaments, Kessler leaves behind a large legacy, both on and off of the court.

In his own speech, incoming head coach Moore thanked Kessler for more than just teaching him how to play basketball.

“You taught me that being a coach was great but being a husband father and grandparent was so much better. You taught me love, patience, and discipline and you taught me most of these things simply by showing me. Thank you for mentoring me, loving me and for giving me this opportunity. You will always be my coach and I will forever be your point guard,” Moore said.

Kessler said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren as he enters retirement.


Men's Basketball practice and game video courtesy of Grace College Office of Marketing.

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