April 23, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Jeff Bauer is stepping down after two seasons leading the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team to spend more time with his young children.
Bauer said the decision to leave GRCC was difficult. He has three children below the age of five, the youngest born in September.
The Raiders were 21-24 during his tenure, making the NJCAA Region XII tournament each year.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity and the support given to us both of these seasons,” Bauer said. “However, after our third child was born last fall, our family decided that it would be too difficult to continue to juggle all of my jobs and still attempt to be the father that our three young sons need.”
Bauer is in his third year of teaching biology and chemistry at West Ottawa High School. He resides in Allendale.
“I will always value the relationships with the great people at GRCC from the administration down to the student-athletes,” he said. “I would like to thank my staff as they worked very hard to make this the best experience possible for our student-athletes.”
The 2021 season was delayed and shortened due to the pandemic. The team played tough, losing a string of games in the final seconds.
“I certainly didn't want to end my tenure here after the challenging season that we had during this COVID-stricken time. We spent the final half of our season with only three of our projected top 10 student-athletes while trying to navigate one of the most challenging schedules that the program has ever participated in,” Bauer said. “To our team's credit, it battled every night as we were in every game. This is a very proud program and I have been blessed to be a part of it. I know our administration will choose the best fit to take the Raiders into the future!"
Bauer in 2006 began his 10-year career at Grand Valley State University coaching alongside Head Coach Ric Wesley. His success there included winning 72 percent of his team's games and participating in five NCAA tournaments, including two “elite eight’ appearances.
His best GVSU season was 2007-2008 when the Lakers went 36-1, eventually losing in the “elite eight” while being ranked No. 1 in the nation.
“Jeff worked hard and led the basketball team through a season with many challenges, GRCC Interim Athletic Director David Selmon said. “We appreciate all he has done for GRCC and the Athletic Program, and I wish him and his young family well.”