(Fort Wayne)- Indiana's NewsCenter was the first to report that Jeff Rekeweg was leaving St. Francis for Northwood University. On Monday USF confirmed the report. Here is the University's official release.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Mark A. Pope, Director of Athletics at the University of Saint Francis, announced today that he has regretfully accepted the resignation of Jeff Rekeweg, USF Men’s Basketball Coach, effective April 30. Pope also announced that he has selected Assistant Coach Chad LaCross as the Interim Head Coach of the Cougars.
Rekeweg led the Cougars to the school’s first NAIA Division II National Basketball Championship in March, was named NAIA Coach of the Year, and to USF’s second-best single season record at 27-9. He leaves with a 265-198 overall record, a .572 winning percentage.
Rekeweg has accepted the head basketball coaching position at Northwood University, which is an NCAA Division II member located in Midland, Mich. NU is a member of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Rekeweg becomes the ninth head coach in the Northwood program’s history, which dates back to the 1960-61 season. He takes over a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2003-04, replacing coach Bob Taylor.
“This is truly a bittersweet moment for us,” said Pope. “I’ve known Jeff for many years as a strong family man, dedicated, innovative, hard-working and loyal to his team and his employer. However, in the many talks that I’ve had with Jeff, I’ve also known that he has a strong desire to take his coaching skills to the next level. Given our team’s recent success, there will never be a better time for Jeff to realize his dreams of advancing his career.
“We will miss him a great deal, but we also understand that the best thing for Jeff, Rebecca and their family is to take this next step.”
“This was a very difficult decision for my family and me,” said Rekeweg. “I love Saint Francis, the NAIA, and all of the relationships that I have enjoyed over the years. I can’t tell you how much the last 14 years has meant to me, and the opportunity that Saint Francis gave me to coach at this wonderful institution. Professionally, it is the right move. Emotionally, it was very hard to make the decision.”
Rekeweg leaves USF with the most wins of the five men who have been head coach of the USF men’s basketball program, which started play in the 1964-65 school year.
Assistant Coach Chad LaCross will serve as Interim Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball Team.
“Whenever a coaching change presents itself to me, the single most important question to be asked is, ‘Is the program heading in the right direction?’” said Pope. “In this situation, there is no doubt: this program is definitely heading in the right direction – both on and off the court. Chad has been a vital part of USF Basketball for more than seven years, and I have complete faith in him to continue to lead our Men’s Team into the future.”
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