After 22 years as a coach and 10 years on the bench with the Bemidji High School boys varsity, Jeff Brown has decided that the time has come to retire.
"It's always difficult to make a decision like this," Brown said. "I've been coaching since I was 22 years old and I know I'm going to miss the kids and miss working with them. But this is something I felt I needed to do."
Brown leaves a program that appears to be on solid ground. This winter the Lumberjacks fell four points shy of advancing to the state tournament, losing 56-52 to Moorhead in the section title game.
"This was the right time to begin a new chapter in my life," Brown said. 'I never wanted to leave with a program in a mess and I think our program, right now, is in very good position. We're competitive with the best teams in the state and I feel good about that.
"It takes a great deal of work and commitment to be competitive at this level," Brown continued. "And that commitment takes a toll on a coach and his family. But it has been very enjoyable."
Brown plans to remain busy and among his goals is to watch his son Mitch play for Eau Claire next winter.
Read more in Friday's Pioneer.