Barret Peery steps downs a IHCC head coach

After 93 wins, two trips to the national tournament and three years' worth of indelible memories, Barret Peery has resigned as head basketball coach at Indian Hills Community College. Peery is leaving to take a job as an assistant coach at an NCAA Division I program, the identity of which can't be disclosed until later this week.

John Wardenburg, Peery's assistant for the past three seasons and his former high school basketball coach, has been tabbed to replace him as head coach of the Warriors, a job he says he's thrilled about. "I appreciate the trust that Dr. Sprouse, Dean of Students Chris Bowser, and Athletic Director Mike Hagen have shown in me," Wardenburg said. "I am excited to build on what we have built here over the last three years."

IHCC President Dr. Marlene Sprouse said she is excited to have Wardenburg take the reins of the program. "Coach Wardenburg has been an integral part of the program's growth during the three years coach Peery was at the helm. During a game, you would often see them conferring and strategizing," Sprouse said. "John loves our students, our program, our college and our community."

Peery is departing after his third IHCC team completed a 34-3 season with a trip to the NJCAA championship game where the Warriors lost to Jones County (MS). The Warriors advanced to the DI national tourney after winning the region and district titles. They entered the tourney as the top-seeded team and the nation's top-ranked team and won three consecutive close games before coming up short in the final.

Peery breathed new life into the IHCC program after taking over in April 2011. "I'm very proud of where the program is today and the steps we have been able to make in our time here," he said. "My family and I have had an unbelievable experience here in Ottumwa and we couldn't have asked for anything more."

With an overall record of 93-11, Peery's teams were almost impossible to beat at home, where they posted a 60-1 mark. They were also exceptionally tough against conference opponents, going 18-2 in league play and 22-2 overall.

His first team at IHCC was ranked No. 1 during the regular season and qualified for the national tournament, where they finished in seventh place, winning three of four games, and wound up 33-4.

Last year, Indian Hills was banned by the NJCAA from playing in the postseason and ended the year 26-4.

Peery came to IHCC after three years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah, his sixth coaching stop after graduating from college at Southern Utah.

Peery said he and his family thoroughly enjoyed their time in Ottumwa, saying, "The people of Indian Hills and this community are what make it so special to work and live here. We have been blessed to make so many great friends and be so welcomed from the moment we arrived. The basketball has been great and we've had great players here that have taken us on an awesome run. The thing that will be the most difficult will be leaving all our friends and Warrior Nation."

More infromation will be provided as details become available.

Courtesy Indian Hills Community College