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Kessler steps down as boys basketball coach

Kelley Kessler has resigned as head coach of the Jamestown High School boys basketball team after four seasons. Chris Aarhus The Sun

Jamestown High School boys basketball coach Kelley Kessler resigned on Tuesday, citing a lack of growth within the program for which he shouldered the blame.

Kessler, who came to Jamestown after being an assistant to longtime Williston coach Mark Slotsve, recently finished his fourth season at the helm.

“I had high expectations for myself and I wasn’t meeting them,” said Kessler, who had a 28-59 mark during his tenure. “We weren’t meeting them as a program. I’m not the kind of guy to just hold on because I want to do the job. I want to see progression. I want to see growth. And I wasn’t seeing it under my leadership.”

Jamestown struggled through a 5-16 campaign, winning just two more games than the previous season. The Blue Jays didn’t fare well the past two years in the West Region tournament, going two-and-out both times, though they did win a play-in game at Turtle Mountain in 2013.

Kessler said he felt it was time for someone else to have a shot at making the Blue Jays competitive. Jamestown has gone to state once in the past 19 years, making the trip in 2001. From 1974 to 1994, the Blue Jay boys went 17 times.

“I really think that you can be competitive in the West Region, regardless of the talent you have,” Kessler said. “I didn’t see us progressing in that direction.”

Kessler will remain a teacher at Jamestown Middle School and continue to serve as head baseball coach.

A search for Kessler’s replacement will begin immediately, according to a press release issued by athletic director Jim Roaldson.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached                  at (701) 952-8462 or