2003 – BASKETBALL
Edward Hepe, graduate, Slippery Rock State College, excelled at three sports during his days at Ohio’s Bellaire High School, where he earned eight letters in football, baseball and track. Ed won four individual events at an Ohio District Meet in 1942, a feat that has not been equaled to-date.
Ed became a combat-decorated World War II veteran and after military service entered Slippery Rock State College as a 29-year-old freshman, married with two young daughters.
As a football player, he set two single-game records for Slippery Rock, a 90-yard touchdown return and 142 yards in punt returns. Playing sports and working a full time job on the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at a strip mine, he earned his undergraduate degree in three years.
His reputation as a basketball official led to his first coaching job at McDonald High School in 1955 and guided his team to a 99-22 record. In 1959, McDonald became part of the Fort Cherry High School merger and he became the school’s basketball coach. He led his teams to six consecutive section titles and was named section Coach-of-the-Year each of those seasons. His teams also won 65 straight Class B league games.
The highlight of his coaching career came in 1961 as Fort Cherry won the WPIAL and PIAA Class B Basketball Championships, the first high school in Washington County to win a PIAA Basketball Championship.
Ed also was the first basketball coach in Washington County to be named Class B WPIAL and PIAA Coach-of-the-Year.
Ed’s high school coaching career ended at Butler High School where he won several section titles. His overall record was 223-83 for an amazing winning percentage of .729.
As Athletic Director at Butler, he was instrumental in developing the Butler Track Invitational, building it from three to four teams to 25 to 35 teams. It has become one of the prestigious track events in Western Pennsylvania.
Ed’s wife Mary, died in 1998. They are parents of two children, Carolyn and Nancy and have five grandchildren.