2006-04-14 / Sports

Leckie steps Down From Saint Peter's Coaching Helm

By Elio Velez

Saint Peter's of New Jersey's defeat to Iona in the MAAC Conference Basketball Championship in early March would become the last game that Bob Leckie would ever coach.

The 58 year old Leckie, who is also the owner of the Wharf in Rockaway Park, announced his retirement from the Jersey City school last Tuesday. In his six years as head coach of the Peacocks, he helped lead the school to three consecutive winning campaigns and a berth to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship.

It wasn't an easy job to turn around the fortunes of Saint Peter's. Leckie who had 20 years of experience coaching championship teams at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, took over in 2000.

The Gamecocks were a down program after only winning five games the previous season. The MAAC school only won four games in his first two season but he eventually turned the program into a winning team.

"Bob has done an incredible job turning this program around," Bill Stein, Saint Peter's Director of Athletics stated. "He is a great coach and an even better person."

A graduate of the school in 1969, Leckie believed the time was right to retire.

"I was a student here and fulfilled my dream to coach the Peacocks," Leckie said in a press conference at Saint Peter's College.

"I have coached basketball for more than 30 years and am at the stage in my life where I want to spend more time with my family."

St. Peter's finished the year with a 17-15 record, which was helped mainly by the exploits of MAAC Player of the Year Keydren Clark in the backcourt. Clark, who led the NCAA in scoring in his junior year, finished with over 3,000 points in his college career.

The Gamecocks would have a nice tournament run in defeating Rider, Siena and Manhattan in the MAAC playoffs before bowing to Iona, 80-51, in the championship at the Pepsi Center in Albany.

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