ALANDAL, MICHAN (WOOD) – Rick Wesley is stepping down as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Grand Valley University after nearly two decades with the program.

During his 18 years as head coach of the Lakers, he led the GVSU to an overall record of 356-170, which included 233 conference wins and trips to the top eight in 2008. This season, the Lakers finished the 17th year -12.

Wesley has issued a statement deciding to step down as head coach:

“Today I am overwhelmed with gratitude, reflecting on my 18 years as the head coach of GVSU basketball. It’s always hard to leave the places you love, but now seems to be the time for new energy and enthusiasm to run our program. I don’t know what awaits next, but I’m excited to see if there’s a new challenge I can help with.

“For as long as I can remember, my goal was to become the head coach of basketball. After 23 years of working as an assistant D1 GVSU gave me this opportunity. I want to especially thank two of my athletic directors, Tim Selgo, for giving me this chance, and Carrie Becker for her support over the past five years. I am eternally grateful for that.

“Returning to Michigan and GVSU has been a great blessing for our family. My parents, father-in-law and large family were able to share many wonderful memories we made here. Both of my children are now proud of GVDU graduates.

«Administrators, support staff, sports coaches and more. There are so many people on and off campus to whom I owe. No one can do this job alone. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our program over the years. I hope to see many of you in person in the next few weeks to thank you in person.

«It is difficult to express love, respect and gratitude to the many players, assistant students and coaches who have walked this path with me. Many of the young people who went through our program represented our university in a first-class way. Their efforts here and the contribution they now make as husbands, fathers and leaders in their communities, evoke in me a great sense of pride. My many wonderful helpers have been the foundation of our program. Their efforts, loyalty, talents and commitment to GVSU basketball were inspiring and appreciated.

«Finally, a special thank you to my children Charlie and Caroline and especially to my wife Patricia. They have brought a lot of sacrifices and contributions to help make my coaching time here a success. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. “

Rick Wesley

Assistant coach Taylor Johnson has been appointed interim head coach as the national search for the next head coach of the program begins.

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