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Jason Gillespie is stepping down as Reinhardt's head men's basketball coach after seven seasons. Special- Reinhardt university

Reinhardt will be looking for a new men’s basketball coach after Jason Gillespie's resignation as coach Wednesday.

Gillespie said he will be stepping away from coaching altogether after spending 16 years as a head coach at the college level. He finished with a 280-223 record overall, including a 110-88 mark in seven years at Reinhardt.

“It was a number of factors,” Gillespie said. “The main ones were health and family reasons. It's nothing major, but, over time, you put so much effort into what you're doing, you can neglect yourself a little bit.”

Gillespie, who has three children, said spending more time with his family was one of his biggest motivators. He called the Reinhardt administration the best he has ever worked with, but he had been considering retirement.

"With every coach, it's always in the back of your mind,” Gillespie said. “You wonder if you'll be good at something else. It definitely wasn't a snap decision, but it got to the point where I needed to try something else."

Under Gillespie, the Reinhardt basketball program enjoyed some of its most successful years. The Eagles only finished under .500 once, in Gillespie's first season, and they had a run of five straight winning seasons until this year’s 14-14 finish.

“Every team was special in its own way,” Gillespie said. “Even when we had a losing record my first year, it was great to build something at a school like Reinhardt, where they do everything the right way. Obviously, the two teams that went to the national tournament were special to me, but I will remember all the teams I coached here.”

Gillespie said he has no plans to return to coaching, but he will stay involved in sports after accepting a position with Fundraising University, an organization that helps raise money for scholastic sports.

"I have something set up I'm excited about,” Gillespie said. “The timing just worked out perfectly. It helps high school sports programs raise funds for their teams. I'm excited about the opportunity to interact with coaches and stay around the sport.”

Reinhardt said a nationwide search for Gillespie’s replacement is already underway.

"There aren't enough words to express my gratitude towards Coach Gillespie," athletic director Bill Popp said in a release. "He led our basketball program with grace. He was an advocate for his student-athletes and was a competitive force – not only in the (Appalachian Athletic Conference) – but at a national level as well.

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