OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -Ray Harper resigned Wednesday as the coach at NAIA Division I champion Oklahoma City University, apparently to pursue job opportunities at a major college basketball program.
Oklahoma City athletic director Jim Abbott confirmed that Harper had resigned and said ``he has more than one opportunity to go to another school,'' both of which Abbott said are NCAA Division I schools.
Abbott said he couldn't reveal which schools those might be. The voice mailbox on Harper's cell phone was full and he did not immediately return a page left on that phone Wednesday night by The Associated Press.
``What I know is he is resigning as our head coach to kind of further his career,'' Abbott said.
Several newspapers, citing unidentified sources, have reported that Harper is a candidate to be an assistant coach at Western Kentucky or the head coach at Western Illinois.
Harper is a native of Bremen, Ky., and spent nine seasons at his alma mater, Kentucky Wesleyan, before taking the Oklahoma City job before the 2005-06 season. He guided Kentucky Wesleyan to NCAA Division II titles in 1999 and 2001.
He went 95-17 with Oklahoma City, which reached the NAIA title game in each of his three seasons at the school. The Stars lost 67-65 on a buzzer-beater to Texas Wesleyan in 2006, but rebounded to beat Concordia (Calif.) 79-71 in 2007 and Mountain State (W.Va.) 75-72 this season.
Harper's overall career record is 337-62.
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