Football: Mike Hepp dismissed as Lake Station coach
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or email@example.com. February 12, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:53AM
Lake Station football coach Mike Hepp wanted at least one more season.
You don’t always get what you want.
Hepp, who had coached the Eagles for a total of nine years (1994-1999, 2010-2012), was dismissed this week. Hepp said he’ll be replaced by assistant coach Rich Lunsford.
Hepp, who retired from teaching at Lake Station last year, returned in 2012 as the coach, though it was on somewhat tenuous terms. The school system preferred to have someone in the building but Hepp, a popular figure, had enough internal support to stay on.
He had reapplied for the position this year even though he sensed there were problems. Since he was out of the building, Hepp said he had to reapply every year for his job.
“I felt uncomfortable,” he said. “This was the first time in 35 years that I felt like I was looking over my shoulder. I didn’t have complete loyalty of my staff.”
Hepp went for the job again, anyway, because he felt a sense of loyalty to the kids, who he said will improve. The Eagles finished 2-8 last season.
“I wanted to go through the process and tell me why they didn’t want me,” he said. “All I got was a lot of denials.”
Hepp did agree that not being the building was a detriment and that it was better in the “long run for the kids” to have a coach, like Lunsford, who worked in the system for them.
Hepp was 29-63 at Lake Station in nine seasons. The best year for him came in 1998, when the Eagles won sectionals.
Hepp said he hasn’t ruled out coaching again. He also would like to try his hand at doing football games for radio.