WAYZATA, Minn. (AP) — Bill Cooper, the longtime head of TCF Financial Corp., is stepping down.

TCF announced Monday that Cooper will leave the chief executive role at the start of 2016. President Craig Dahl will succeed him.

Cooper will remain chairman of TCF, Minnesota's third-largest bank, through 2017.

The 71-year-old Cooper joined the company in the 1980s when it was known as Twin City Federal. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports he drove its expansion into a firm that now has nearly $20 billion in assets and about 400 branches in seven states.

Cooper is also a former chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party.