GRANDVILLE, Mich. — After five seasons at the helm of the Grandville boys basketball program, head coach Ryan Klingler says he's stepping down.
"My daughter is going into ninth grade this fall and my son will be in eleventh, I just want to be there for my kids," Klingler told FOX 17.
Klingler was a tremendous player at Hope College and has been around basketball his entire life, including a ten year tenure as the varsity boys basketball coach at Fennville high school.
"Coaching basketball is fun, I've learned life lessons and continue learning, I would think when the time arises, I'll get back into it again," he added but also says it will be after he can spend time with his kids.
The Bulldogs program has struggled over the past two decades but Klingler was steadily leading a turnaround.
The Grandville boys basketball program recorded its first winning season in a decade back in the 2017-18 season when the team finished 12-9 overall.
In 2018-19, the team finished 10-12 overall before a 2-19 season a year later.
However, Klingler's team was able to turn it right back around this winter with an 8-9 finish to the season and he says he's confident he's leaving the program in a good place.
"I hope I left it better than when we started," Klinger said, "I think our guys love to play right now and they're still hungry. Obviously, the OK Red has some great coaches in it and it's been tough but I think we fit in right now, I think our guys know we can play."
Klingler says he's not going anywhere and will still be around Grandville and will be stopping by some local college and high school practices to continue learning over the next few seasons.
However, it will be on his own time and when he feels his fatherly duties are fulfilled.
"I didn't want to have to make a choice between having to coach and having to be a father. These opportunities [for the kids] are short lived so I want to be around more and have freedom to choose. When you're in charge of a program, you want to be at everything you can and I didn't think that was fair, I just didn't feel like I could commit 100-percent to the Grandville program anymore."
The search for Klingler's replacement will begin immediately.
"My family and I decided it'd be much better to open it up for somebody else and keep the program heading in the right direction," Klinger added.