COLLEGEVILLE -- After 51 years on the bench, Saint John's University men's basketball coach has decided to retire.

Jim Smith announced his retirement earlier today (Tuesday) finishing as Minnesota's all-time leader in college basketball wins.

In a statement today, Smith says "it has been a very difficult decision and one that has required a great deal of thought and lost sleep."

Smith ended his career second in NCAA Division III history with 786 wins (786-556 career record) and tied for 14th in NCAA basketball history.

He has led his teams to seven MIAC titles, five MIAC playoff titles, nine-trips to the NAIA tournament and eight trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Smith says he "will miss my associations with our basketball players more than anything else but will always relish the times we spent together.

He will remain on staff until his current contract expires June 30. The search for his replacement will begin immediately.