MT. VERNON, WA - After an incredible career at Skagit Valley College spanning 42 years, Athletic Director and Women's Basketball Head Coach Steve Epperson announced his retirement so that he can spend more time with his family.
Always someone who avoided the limelight, Steve's request was to leave SVC without fanfare. His last day with the Cardinals was Thursday, August 22, 2019.
"Steve has had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of students throughout his exceptional career," said SVC President Dr. Tom Keegan. "With his leadership and passion, the Cardinals will be proud to build upon the tradition of excellence that he helped shape."
Steve Epperson graduated from Washington State University in 1977, earning a total of four degrees—a BA in Recreation, a BA in Business Administration, and BS and MS degrees in Physical Education—in addition to a Washington state teaching certificate.
After graduating from WSU, Steve accepted a position as Head Coach for SVC's Women's Volleyball and Basketball teams, Men's Baseball team, and Gym Manager.
Soon thereafter, he became the Financial Aid Director at SVC. After more than three decades in the role, Epperson was one of the field's most respected professionals and is widely regarded as an exemplary leader in community college financial aid. His expertise is repeatedly sought by other community colleges, and he frequently volunteered to help other institutions employ new financial aid software and systems.
The accomplishments and accolades that Steve earned in more than four decades of coaching women's basketball are rare among community college basketball coaches. It's an elite status that few have ever attained.
He guided SVC to Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) championships in 1988, 1994, 1996, and won the NWAC championship with an undefeated team in 1998. Epperson was also named Coach of the Year for the NWAC four times and was named Coach of the Year for the North Division 15 times.
He was inducted into the NWAC Hall of Fame in the spring of 2005, along with his 1998 undefeated championship team. This past season, Steve surpassed 900 wins, a huge milestone in collegiate basketball coaching. Without question, he is the most successful women's basketball coach in northwest community college history.
SVC Physical Education instructor and NWAC Athletic Commissioner, Nancy Anderson, will lead the Athletic department through September as the College's Fall Quarter classes get under way. In the coming weeks, the College will appoint an interim athletic director for the 2019-2020 academic year and begin a national search for a permanent athletic director to begin July 1, 2020.
Deb Castle, who has served as Steve Epperson's Assistant Coach for 25 years, has been named the team's permanent head coach. "We're excited that Deb will lead the Cardinals and continue the tradition of high-caliber basketball and student success that we have come to expect," said Keegan.