Ed Stepp, who led Connors to the school’s first men’s national championship in basketball in the 1990-91 season, died Friday.
Cause of death was not known, but Stepp had been battling leukemia. Family members posted notice on social media and Connors State tweeted the news.
Stepp finished the championship year 36-2 and was 71-16 in three seasons. Prior to coaching at Connors State, Stepp was an assistant women's coach at Oral Roberts University and assistant men's coach at South Alabama University.
In a June 2020 look-back story on the title run, Stepp told the Phoenix, “We had a hard time getting out of Tulsa. The girls qualified for nationals at the same time and transportation was a problem. We flipped a coin and the girls got to take the bus and our guys had an airport van. So my guys being 7 foot, 6-8, had a hard time fitting in there.
“Our budget wasn’t real good at the start of the year and the uniforms we had were too small, so I had one set to fit and wore them 38 games. When we got to Hutchinson, if you were in the bottom bracket you had to wear white. We didn’t have white. I told them, which was a hoax, that someone stole our uniforms. We got through that battle and then we had to play the third-, second- and first-seed teams to win it.”
Stepp and the team were inducted together into the Connors Athletic Hall of Fame.
Services are Saturday at 2 p.m. at Woodford County High School in Versailles, Kentucky. Viewing at noon. Morgan Funeral Home in Versailles is handling arrangements.