Wells' retirement ends 13-year career at Alabama

Updated: June 21, 2007, 7:06 PM ET
Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Jim Wells announced his retirement Thursday, closing a 13-year stay with the Crimson Tide that included three trips to the College World Series.

"There comes a time in everyone's career when they have to make decisions on what is best for all concerned. This was a decision that was not easy for me, because my family and I have the deepest love and respect for the University of Alabama," Wells said in a statement released by the university.

The 52-year-old Wells, the winningest coach in the history of the program, said he decided to retire after discussions with athletic director Mal Moore.

Alabama went 31-26 (15-15 SEC) this season, missing out on the NCAA Tournament a season after winning the SEC title and advancing to an NCAA super regional.

Wells was 553-272 at Alabama and his teams made 10 NCAA tournament appearances. Alabama lost the 1997 College World Series title game to LSU.

He was two-time SEC coach of the year and his teams won six SEC tournament titles.

A native of Bossier City, La., Wells was 192-89 in five seasons at Northwestern State before coming to Alabama.

"I was saddened to hear of his wish to retire, but I completely understand and respect his reason for making this decision. After having several conversations with Jim over the last few days, it became evident to me that he feels strongly about this decision," Moore said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press