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Grace College announces retirement of basketball coach Kessler after 42 years

WINONA LAKE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Coach Jim Kessler will retire as head basketball coach at Grace College — a position he has held for more than 1,300 games.

Kessler — known to many as “Coach K” — has led the Lancers to 18 different 20-win seasons, nine NAIA Nationals appearances and a Division II National Championship.

He is a former Crossroads League Coach of the Year and NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year. Kessler also served as a court coach for USA Basketball in the 2013 World University Games’ Training Camp.

The 1970 graduate of Grace College spent four years on the court for the Lancers, as well.

He steps down with credit for more than 780 team victories and 10 conference championships.

School officials on Monday said Kessler would serve in a new role as Special Assistant to the Athletic Director and that associate head coach Scott Moore will assume the top coaching position for the basketball team.

Moore has been an assistant coach since 2012. Like Kessler, he is a former Lancers player.

“I genuinely feel the time has come for me to pass the baton and cheer for one of my coaching proteges Scott Moore. I have run hard and done my best to finish strong, and I am so thankful that Grace College has supported me in this decision,” Kessler said. “I cannot thank my Lord enough for allowing Susanne and me the joy of pursuing a career of coaching and teaching.”

 

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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