CONCORD -- After 22 years, Margaret Gartner is stepping down as head coach of the Carondelet High basketball program she built into a Northern California power.
Gartner, who compiled a career record of 530-133 and guided the Cougars to the 2004 Division II state championship, said she wanted more time to focus on her family and had decided before the season started that this one would be her last.
She kept her decision a closely guarded secret until informing her coaching staff in January and her players Tuesday.
"I'd think about it every year," Gartner said.
"The program is my baby but that's not a reason to keep doing something. It's just time."
Gartner's teams were especially dominant in the past 15 years. The Cougars reached the state finals four times and won 10 North Coast Section championships, including the last three in Division II.
She sent numerous players on to college careers, including Jayne Appel, who was an All-American at Stanford and now plays in the WNBA.
This year's team featured Natalie Romeo, a Nebraska signee and the program's No. 2 all-time scorer behind Appel.
"I feel really bad for the juniors," Gartner said. "I'm not leaving because I think there's nothing left in the cupboard. It's hard because next year's team is going to be special. It'd be kind of a fun year to coach because everyone thinks we're not going to be as good. Those are my favorite years to coach."
Gartner is the fourth Bay Area girls coach to reach 500 wins..
Adam Caporn is leaving his position as an assistant coach for the Saint Mary's College men's basketball team to become associate head coach of the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence.
Caporn, the Gaels' first Australian player, had been on Randy Bennett's staff since 2010. He played for Saint Mary's from 2002-2003.
Wire services contributed to this report.