Wesley steps down as Head Basketball Coach at Grand Valley State

Grand Valley State head men’s basketball coach Ric Wesley has announced that he is stepping down as head coach of the Lakers, effective immediately. Wesley has been the head coach at Grand Valley State the past 18 years. Assistant coach Taylor Johnson has been named interim head coach as a national search begins for the next leader of Grand Valley State men’s basketball.
Wesley guided GVSU to a 356-170 (.676) record during his career, including a mark of 233-127 in GLIAC action. His 356 career coaching wins rank second in Laker annals. Grand Valley State finished the 2021-22 season with a 17-12 overall mark and dropped a 70-58 GLIAC quarterfinal decision to Saginaw Valley State.  

Coach Wesley’s statement regarding his decision to step down:

Today I am filled with gratitude as I reflect on my 18 years as head coach of GVSU Basketball.  It is always hard to leave places you love but now seems like the right time for new energy and enthusiasm to direct our program.  Not sure what lies next, but I’m excited to see if there is a new challenge out there that I can help with.  

As long as I can remember my goal was to be a head basketball coach.  After 23 years as a D1 assistant, GVSU gave me that opportunity. I want to especially thank my two Athletic Directors, Tim Selgo, for giving me that chance and Keri Becker, for her support these past five years.  For that I am eternally grateful.

Coming back to the state of Michigan and GVSU has been a great blessing to our family. My parents, in-laws and extended family were able to share in the many great memories we have made here. Both of my children are now proud GVSU grads.

Administrators, support staff, athletic trainers and more. There are so many people on and off campus I owe a debt of gratitude to. Nobody can do this job alone. Thanks to all that have contributed to our program over the years. I hope to see many of you in person in the next few weeks to thank you personally.   

It is difficult to express the love, respect and gratitude I feel toward the many players, student-assistants and coaches who have been on this journey with me. The many young men that have come through our program have represented our university in a first-class manner.  Their efforts while here and the contributions they are now making as husbands, fathers and leaders in their communities gives me a great sense of pride. My many outstanding assistants have been the backbone of our program.  Their effort, loyalty, talents and commitment to GVSU Basketball has been inspiring and greatly appreciated.  

Finally, a special thanks to my children Charlie and Caroline and especially my wife Patricia. They have made many sacrifices and contributions to help make my coaching time here successful. I could not have done it without them.

Ric Wesley


Wesley led GVSU to a pair of NCAA DII Midwest Regional championships and subsequent NCAA Elite Eight berths in 2006-07 and 2007-08. The Lakers also won three GLIAC regular season championships, three conference tournament titles and five GLIAC Divisional championships during Wesley’s tenure. GVSU won 20 or more games six times during his career, including a program-best 36-1 mark in 2007-08. The Lakers tallied the best five-year mark in program history from 2005-06 to 2009-10 when they registered 135 wins (27 wins per year). Grand Valley State made six NCAA Tournament appearances during his time as head coach.

In his 18 seasons in Allendale, Wesley coached 37 All-GLIAC honorees (including 18 All-GLIAC First Team selections) and 25 GLIAC All-Defensive Team honorees. Wesley coached a trio of All-Americans at Grand Valley State (Callistus Eziukwu, Jason Jamerson, Jake Van Tubbergen), with Eziukwu and Jamerson being inducted into the GVSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Wesley was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2007-08 when Eziukwu earned the GLIAC Player of the Year honor, just the third Laker in program history to be named the league’s top player.

“I am extremely grateful to Coach Wesley for almost two decades of service to GVSU,” said Director of Athletics Keri Becker. “He brought a strong sense of both competitiveness and care to work every day. Under his leadership, I watched him share a deep love for his players beyond the game of basketball. He was a great teacher of the game, committed to making them better at the skills of basketball, while also ensuring they had a great student-athlete experience and ultimately graduated. He built a culture around relationships and family and created connections with his student-athletes that will last a lifetime.  We wish he and his wife, Pat, much happiness in the next chapter of their lives.”

A native of Chesaning, Mich., Wesley is a 1980 graduate of Central Michigan University and got his first coaching experience at CMU as a student assistant coach for the Chippewas during his four years on the Mount Pleasant campus. CMU reached tourney play in both the NCAA and NIT during that span. Wesley served as an assistant coach at Iowa State, Lamar and Missouri State before his arrival at Grand Valley State in 2004.  


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