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Longtime BYU Head Coach Dave Rose Stepped Down Today

BYU head coach Dave Rose encourages his team.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Head coach Dave Rose of the Brigham Young Cougars works from the bench against the Valparaiso Crusaders during their NIT Championship Semifinal game at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

After 14 years at the helm of the program, Dave Rose announced today that he is stepping down as head coach of BYU men's basketball. He has been with the Cougars since 2005.

Rose made the announcement today, one that he called among the hardest decisions of his career. He had hinted to his team earlier in the season that he could do so, and made it official today.

Rose is 61 years old, and has been a head coach since 1983, when he began in high school ranks. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

“It is my coaching soul that has put me here today,” he said, choking back tears several times, but also never even hinting that he may have been forced out. “I always tell everybody — you can’t trick how you feel. You can pretend, you can ignore it, but you know inside how you feel. And my coaching soul said it was time, time to be done.”

[...]

“Thirty-six years I’ve been [coaching],” he said. “And today’s the day I am going to retire. I’ve had a chance to talk with the players and encourage them to move forward and tackle the challenge that’s at hand. But most of all, I’ve had a chance to reflect with my family how lucky I’ve been. I’m 61-years-old, and I still haven’t worked a day in my life.”

Rose is coming off of a 19-13 season, with an 11-5 WCC record. Amazingly, it was his first season at BYU in which the team didn't win at least 20 games.

Dave Rose finishes his tenure with a 348–135 record, and eight NCAA Tournament appearances, with one Sweet 16 trip.

He's the all-time winningest coach in Cougars history, and turned the program into a regular in the Big Dance. From 2007-2015, BYU made it eight of nine years.

The team peaked in 2010-11, when national player of the year Jimmer Fridette lead the nation in scoring. That team went 32-5. The Cougars earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and beat Wofford and rival Gonzaga before falling to Florida in the Sweet 16.

Rose played his college basketball at Houston, and was co-captain of the famous "Phi Slamma Jamma" teams that also featured Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.

BYU is one of many prominent programs looking for head coaches now, and given the unique profile of the school, it will be a fascinating search to follow.

[Salt Lake Tribune]