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EAC president announces new men’s head basketball coach, Maurice Leitzke

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[Click Image to Enlarge] Maurice Leitzke has been hired as the new head coach of EAC’s men’s basketball team. [Contributed photo]

By Todd Haynie

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College President Mark Bryce announced the hiring of Maurice Leitzke as the Gila Monster’s new men’s head basketball coach. Leitzke was selected from a pool of more than 50 candidates and officially began his duties on May 22.

“We would like to thank the committee for their outstanding efforts,” said Bryce, referring to the College search committee charged with interviewing the many applicants. “We had an excellent group of candidates and we are excited about the prospects for EAC basketball under Coach Leitzke.”

Leitze has spent the last four years at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he was first an assistant coach and, for the last two years, the head coach of the men’s basketball team. Prior to his stint at Cameron, he was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

Before his coaching career began, Leitzke played professional basketball in Australia and Austria. He was the second-leading scorer in Australia’s SBL league, averaging 22.1 points per game. He also led the SBL in three-pointers made and free-throw percentage from 1998-2000.

Leitzke played college basketball at Valparaiso University from 1991-93, before transferring to McHenry Community College. He played one season at Southwest Baptist before finishing at Evangel University, where he was an NAIA All-American selection in 1996, after leading the school to its first conference title and NAIA national tournament appearance.

“My wife and I are extremely excited to move to the Gila Valley and be a part of Eastern Arizona College,” said Leitzke. “This is a great opportunity and a great place to live.”

Leitke will be moving shortly to the Gila Valley with his wife Tory, a former Miss Basketball Arizona and a member of the Butler University women’s basketball team that received the school’s first-ever invitation to the NCAA women’s basketball championships in 1997. She served as an assistant coach on the women’s basketball staff at Southwest Baptist from 2002-04.