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Longtime Big Ten Assistant Coach Announces He's Retiring

a look at a big ten tournament basketball

CHICAGO - MARCH 10: A detail view of the BigTen logo is seen on a basketball as the Penn State Nittany Lions play against Ohio State Buckeyes during the first day of the Big Ten Men's Conference Basketball Tournament March 10, 2005 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Ohio State won 72-69. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Iowa men's assistant basketball coach Kirk Speraw announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Speraw started his 43-year career as a graduate assistant for Lute Olson's Hawkeyes squad that reached the Final Four in 1980. His career came full circle when he came back to Iowa for his final 12 seasons as an assistant.

"I was fortunate that Coach Olson gave me my start in coaching here at the University of Iowa and I am grateful that Coach [Fran] McCaffery and Gary Barta brought me back to my alma mater to finish my coaching career with a Big Ten championship,” Speraw said, per the school's official press release.

His retirement, which McCaffery announced Wednesday, will be effective on June 30.

Speraw, who is from Sioux City, Iowa, also coached for Denver, Florida Southern, Pensacola JC, Florida, and UCF in between opening and closing stints at his alma mater. He led UCF to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in his first of 17 seasons as head coach.

"I want to thank my wife, Tracy, and our four kids (Drew, Brooke, Dustin, Bailey) for their support and patience throughout my coaching career," Speraw said. "And I want to thank all the student-athletes that I have had the honor to coach throughout my career."

McCaffrey called Speraw "the ultimate professional" and said it was "an honor to work alongside Kirk all these years."