POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Legendary Three Rivers College basketball coach Gene Bess has retired.
Coach Bess ended his career with a 1,300-416 record, making him the coach with the most wins in college basketball history.
The 85-year-old Bess coached at Three Rivers for 50 years.
“I’ve been realizing the time was near for me to go,” said Bess. “I want to spend more time with my family and my grandchildren. I’m kind of excited about not having to go to work and being able to do what I want to do,” Bess continued.
He began his career at Three Rivers in 1969 as an assistant basketball coach.
Bess was named head coach in 1970.
According to the college, Bess lead the Raiders to 17 NJCAA tournament appearances and reached the final four nine times.
Bess will be replaced at Three Rivers by his son and longtime assistant Brian Bess.
“I’m replacing a legend, so expectations are really high,” said Brian Bess. “I have big shoes to fill.”