Hepper steps down as basketball coach at Morenci

Morenci Head Coach Patrick Hepper addresses his team during a timeout. He will end his career with an 84-54 record.

You can add the Morenci Wildcats to the pool of schools that will be looking for a new basketball coach. Patrick Hepper announced that he has stepped down as Boys varsity basketball coach. Hepper spent 5 years as coach for the Wildcats and will finish with an 84-54 record, including coaching Morenci to their first ever regular season section championship and their first ever #1 ranking last season. The Wildcats were knocked out of last year’s 2A playoffs by the Thatcher Eagles in a great game. Hepper cites needing more time with his family and that he is not leaving to coach another team, although he would like to coach again. Hepper spoke exclusively with GilaValleyCentral and gave us the following statement.

This is not an easy decision I arrive at. I appreciate everyone that has been a part of my time with Morenci Schools and Morenci Basketball. The administration, school, and support has been tremendous. However, at this time I believe that it is best for myself and my family that I move on from the program. The chance to spend more time with Janelle, Adrian, Eli, and Noah and be a bigger part of their lives is very important to me.
This was not an easy decision and one that I have debated for weeks. I felt over my five years that I did the best job I could day in and day out and was able to provide experiences and opportunities for our program that had been second to none. At this time I am not pursuing other coaching opportunities. However, it may be something I consider at a later time.
Again, thank you for the chance to coach at Morenci High School. It was great to watch the growth of the players and the program, compete at a high level, bringing home a section championship, and multiple state playoff appearances. It was an experience I will never forget.
Thank you,
Coach Hepper