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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – It's a sabbatical. Whether it becomes permament remains to be seen.
"It is 100 percent my intention to revisit this in a year," Doug Wagemester said Monday, after it was announced he is stepping down as head men's basketball coach at Kirkwood Community College. "I feel very blessed I'm being afforded this opportunity."
"Wags" instead will concentrate solely for a year on his position as Kirkwood's athletics director. First-year assistant Bryan Petersen will take over the basketball program on an interim basis.
Recently completing his 15th season leading the Eagles, Wagemester is 409-107 in his career, with nine NJCAA Division II national tournament appearances, including three runner-up finishes. He said this decision is something that has been in the works for "a year, year and a half, two years."
It has nothing to do with any major impending changes in the Kirkwood athletics department, he stressed. The school doesn't have plans to move from D-II to Division I or add any sports.
Some of it has to do with being able to spend more time with his family: wife, Kim, daughter, Jenna (11) and sons Hank (10) and Jack (7). Wagemester pointed out he has spent the last 25 years in college basketball as a player and coach.
"I think this is going to give me a little time to breathe," he said. "It's about my place in this (athletic) department and getting my hands wrapped around a few things in this department. I'd like to get some things done as far as facilities, for instance."
Petersen is a former Iowa State player and assistant coach. A Clinton native like Wagemester, he played two years as a guard at Kirkwood before his stint in Ames.
Kirkwood finished this past season with a 19-13 record.