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Leckie is retiring

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Long rumored and now confirmed...

BY SEAN BRENNAN
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER


Keydren Clark and Bob Leckie realize St. Peter's has lost to Iona in MAAC title game, which proves to be finale for both.

When St. Peter's coach Bob Leckie and his all-everything guard Kee Kee Clark walked off the court together after losing to Iona in the MAAC championship game last month, it wasn't just the last game of Clark's stellar career. It was also Leckie's.
Leckie decided it was "time to step away" and yesterday announced he was exiting as St. Peter's coach.

"Me and (St. Peter's AD) Bill Stein spent four days together and I told him convincingly this is it," said Leckie, 58. "I'm not changing my mind. I didn't come in with any fanfare and I'm not leaving with any."

Leckie, along with Clark, who was the NCAA's leading scorer two of the past three seasons, helped resurrect a Peacocks program that had fallen on hard times prior to his arrival in March 2000.

Leckie inherited a team that was just 5-23 but within four seasons he had guided the Peacocks to their first winning season (17-12) in eight years.

This past season the Peacocks were a preseason pick to finish eighth. But St. Peter's surprised by finishing fifth and advancing to the conference title game before bowing out to Iona. Leckie guided St. Peter's to three straight winning seasons to close out his career, a feat not accomplished by any Peacocks team in 11 years.

Leckie, the longtime coach at Bishop Loughlin HS before taking over at St. Peter's, said he will meet with his players sometime this week to tell them of his decision, though he said, "It's not going to come as a surprise to them."

Leckie's not using the word "retirement," he says, because he's not sure what his future holds.

"Basketball has been part of my life since I was 13 years old," Leckie said. "So I won't rule anything out. For all I know my wife may be kicking me out of the house by Oct. 15."

Possible replacements for Leckie include St. Peter's assistants John Coffino and Steve Finamore as well as former Seton Hall assistant John Dunne.
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