Sports

Auburn grad Epperson reaches 800 wins as Skagit Valley College women's basketball coach

Steve Epperson has guided the Cardinals to 25 seasons of 20-plus wins. In that span, the Cardinals have won 20 NWAACC North Region titles and four conference championships. - Courtesy photo/Skagit Valley College
Steve Epperson has guided the Cardinals to 25 seasons of 20-plus wins. In that span, the Cardinals have won 20 NWAACC North Region titles and four conference championships.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Skagit Valley College

For the Reporter

Steve Epperson, a 1969 Auburn High School graduate who lives in Stanwood, recently reached the 800-win plateau as coach of the Skagit Valley College women's basketball program.

The milestone was reached at a 102-71 victory over South Puget Sound Community College on Dec. 20 in the Yakima Valley College Crossover Tournament.

The win came on the same court in Yakima as the 1996 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championship Tournament. The SVC Cardinals won that game as well to claim the conference title and finish off a perfect 32-0 season.

"Steve's 800 wins puts him in sixth place in the world for number of wins as a junior/community college women's basketball coach," said SVC Athletic Director Gary Knutzen. "Steve has been a great role model for student-athletes and his fellow coaches for many years. Beyond the 800 wins, which are remarkable, his greatest gift has been his care in helping student-athletes to be successful on the court and in life."

Epperson's 800th win is even more remarkable in that coaches with more victories on the total wins ladder are not restricted by the number of games they can play each year. Skagit, as a member of the NWAACC Conference, is limited to 23 games per year. Other conferences allow as many as 45 games a year.

Epperson has been the coach of the SVC women's team since 1977. He has led the Cardinals to 25 seasons of 20-plus wins. In that span, the Cardinals have won 20 NWAACC North Region titles and four conference championships. Over the years, many of Epperson's student-athletes have gone on to play at four-year colleges and many have moved into coaching.

SVC Foundation alumni and friends will team up with the SVC Athletic Department to host a celebration of Epperson's accomplishment on Saturday. The Cardinals' game begins at 4 p.m. and will include a presentation by Knutzen at halftime.

Game tickets are $2 per person. A free reception will take place between the men's and women's games at 5:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room, which is located in the Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center. The public is invited to attend.

For more information, visit www.skagit.edu/athletics.

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