Here we go again.
Lake Station football coach Mike Hepp did not have his contract renewed, he said Tuesday.
Eagles assistant coach Rich Lunsford is expected to be Lake Station's new head coach, according to Hepp.
It seems like deja vu for Hepp, who was 29-63 in nine years on the job. Hepp coached the Eagles to their last sectional championship in 1998.
In May of last year Hepp was relieved of his duties as Lake Station's coach due to his retirement from teaching. Then, athletic director Terry Milner said that Hepp was still the head coach a week later. And in June the school board voted to retain Hepp after a groundswell of community support.
This time, however, Hepp's career as a coach there is over.
“I'm not bitter," Hepp said. “But I guess I'm bitter that they didn't call me in and talk to me about it. I had to hear it through the grapevine. All the years I've spent here I guess I think I deserved a little better treatment on my way out the door.”
Hepp said there was an agreement that he would be evaluated after each season, because he wasn't in the building anymore. The Eagles went 2-8 last fall.
Injuries and players not coming to practice caused last year's record, Hepp said, who confirmed that Lake Station probably shouldn't have played its last two games last fall.
“I knew it wasn't working last fall, me not being in the building,” Hepp said. “The wins and losses didn't bother me. I cared about the kids. Our goal was to turn the program around. We didn't get it done. I'm just disappointed that they made me jump through so many hoops.”
Lunsford is a Lowell graduate and played for Kirk Kennedy.
Attempts to reach Milner and Lunsford were unsuccessful Tuesday.