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Kearney boys basketball coach Gary Belcher leaving for St. Joseph Benton

04/01/2014 11:54 PM

04/06/2014 1:57 PM

After nine years as the Kearney High School boys basketball coach, Gary Belcher is moving on.

Belcher told The Star on Tuesday he plans to resign from his post and take over the same role at St. Joseph Benton, a short drive from his alma mater, St. Joseph Central.

"I know a lot of people are going to say I'm going home, and I am," Belcher said. "But it's an opportunity for me to go to a basketball program that interests me. It's an opportunity for me, from a financial standpoint, to better myself in that regard."

Belcher's nine-year run at Kearney began with a three-win season. It ends with 137 victories and a Missouri Class 4 state championship in 2010. Kearney also reached the state championship game in 2009 but lost to St. Francis Borgia.

"It was a great run," Belcher said. "We had great support, great administration, great kids. It was very difficult decision (to leave)."

Belcher said he informed his team of the decision Tuesday.

A day later, Belcher plans to meet his new team at Benton.

In 15 years as a head coach, Belcher owns a career record of 252-156, including 137-110 with the Bulldogs.

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