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Bob Pietrack resigns as Fort Lewis men’s basketball head coach

Pietrack has been the Skyhawks’ head coach since 2015
Fort Lewis College men’s basketball head coach Bob Pietrack celebrates the Skyhawks’ Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament championship win on March 9, 2024, against Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis men’s basketball head coach Bob Pietrack announced his resignation on Monday night on X (formerly known as Twitter) due to personal reasons.

Pietrack and the Skyhawks are coming off their second straight 29-4 season in 2023-2024. Fort Lewis finished second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a 20-2 record. The Skyhawks won the RMAC tournament championship over Colorado Mesa. Then, Pietrack’s squad got a two-seed in the NCAA Division II tournament and lost to Colorado Mesa in the second round of the South Central Regional.

After this past season, Pietrack won the Red Auerbach Coach of the Year award given out by the Jewish Coaches Association. The award recognizes the top Jewish American basketball coach of the year across all levels of college basketball.

“After much reflection and consideration, I have made the difficult decision to step away from my position as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Fort Lewis College,” Pietrack wrote in his statement on X. “This decision comes as a result of personal reasons that require my immediate and complete attention. While I am immensely proud of what the players have accomplished both on and off the court during my tenure and deeply grateful for the support of the Durango community, it is with an extremely heavy heart that I must take this step.”

Pietrack compiled a career record of 189-75 overall and 131-60 in RMAC play during his nine seasons as head coach. His overall winning percentage of 71.6% and his conference winning percentage of 68.6% are both the best in program history.

In 2004, Pietrack finished up his playing career at Fort Lewis and became an assistant coach at Fort Lewis under Bob Hofman. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2008 under Hofman. Pietrack’s first season as head coach was in 2015-2016 and the Skyhawks went 28-4.

The Skyhawks had four 25+ win seasons and six winning seasons in Pietrack’s nine years as head coach. Fort Lewis won three RMAC Regular Season Championships and three RMAC Tournament Championships with Pietrack as head coach.

Fort Lewis advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament five times with Pietrack at the helm. The Skyhawks got to the Round of 32 four times but failed to get to the Sweet 16.

“Stepping away from the place I love is a gut wrenching decision, but one I feel compelled to make for the time being,” Pietrack wrote in his statement on X. “While I will miss my team, the players, colleagues and competition, I am confident that FLC athletics is in great hands with Travis Whipple as the leader.”

Whalen Gymnasium will be home to two new Skyhawks basketball coaches as Fort Lewis women’s basketball head coach Taylor Harris resigned in March and Lauren Davis was announced as his replacement in April.

When asked about Pietrack’s resignation, Fort Lewis Associate Athletic Director Angela Roberts said, “Administrative policy does not allow for comment on the matter.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.