"This was not an easy decision nor one that was made in haste," Isler said. "This is something I have been thinking about for awhile. There is a need for me to be closer to my parents (in New Mexico) and be able to help them at this time in their lives.
"One of the things that I had to consider was my ability to be give McMurry basketball all that the job deserves versus the need to fulfill my family obligations. In the end, this was the best decision - the most honest decision - I could arrive at.
"It was a tough decision; but it was the right decision for me. McMurry men's basketball is in a great place now and will grow in the future."
McMurry had a 20-9 record in 2011-12 and won the ASC conference tournament to earn the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs. The War Hawks' team led the nation in rebound margin - pulling down an average of 11.5 more boards per game than its foes - and were 10th in scoring offense (86.6 p.p.g.).
Isler also had the unique opportunity to coach his son - McM point guard Jaden - in his final collegiate season. The younger Isler had been at McMurry one year prior to his father's arrival.
"Not only was it a blessing to coach Jaden and win a conference championship but all my other players, as well," Isler added. "Eventually, they all become like sons to you."
J.D. Isler took over the reins of the McMurry program June 1 of 2011, after then-head coach Matt Garnett left to take the same position at his alma mater, Wayland Baptist in Plainview. The War Hawks did not miss a beat under Isler, having a fourth-consecutive winning season and 18th in the past 19 years.
"We appreciate J.D. and what he gave to our men's basketball program," said McM Director of Athletics Ron Holmes. "I think we all have been in those places where we have had to make some tough choices and I can certainly respect - and support - where J.D. is coming from and his decision to move on.
"I know I speak on behalf of the McMurry athletics family when I say we all wish him well and nothing but the greatest success in the future. Likewise, our thoughts and prayers go with him for his family."
Holmes said a search for Isler's replacement will begin immediately.