Wells' retirement ends 13-year career at Alabama

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.