- February 9, 2012 -
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the winners of the 2012 Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball. This prestigious award is named after Morgan Wootten, who is one of two high school coaches enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The annual award is presented to one boy’s basketball coach and one girl’s basketball coach.
The 2012 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for boy’s basketball is Ed Pepple from Mercer Island High School (Mercer Island, WA). Pepple is the longest-tenured basketball coach in the state of Washington. He has coached at Mercer Island since 1968 and immediately impacted the program. Pepple has led his teams to 21 KingCo championships, four state championships, and was runner-up four times. He has the most wins of any active head coach (902-305), and has appeared in 26 state championships. Pepple has been named Washington State Coach of the Year seven times and named Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1997.
The 2012 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for girls’ basketball is Brad Smith from Oregon City High School (Oregon City, OR). Coach Smith has coached the Oregon City High School girl’s basketball team for 27 seasons, compiling a 654-94 win-loss record (.874), the best record by far among retired and current girls coaches in the state. His teams won 25 league championships; an unprecedented 10 state titles; and they were named “USA Today National Champions” in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Smith has received many honors, including National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, the Oregon Banquet of Champions Slats Gill Coach of the Year and Citizen of the Year in 2007.
“Coach Pepple and Coach Smith are both great ambassadors to the game of basketball,” said John. L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “They have impacted the lives of many young student athletes, and we are honored to recognize their achievements in coaching high school basketball.”
“I am extremely honored to be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Coach Pepple and Coach Smith as they both represent excellence in the game of basketball at all levels,” said Hall of Fame Class of 2000 member Morgan Wootten.
The Morgan Wootten Award winners were selected by a nationally based committee comprised of Hall of Famers, national high school media members, tournament directors and others that have significantly impacted the game. Morgan Wootten will present the awards at the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game events this March in Chicago, Illinois.
Previous award boys’ basketball award winners have included Jack Curran (Archbishop Molloy, NY), Joe Gallagher (St. John’s College, DC), Ralph Tasker (Hobbs High School, NM), Robert Hughes (Fort Worth Dunbar, TX) and Bob Hurley, Sr. (St. Anthony’s, NJ). Previous winners of the girls’ basketball award have included Leta Andrews (Granbury High School, TX), Jim Smiddy (Bradley Central, TN), Dorothy Gaters (Chicago Marshall, IL), Rick Insell (Shelbyville, TN) and Gene Klinge (West Central of Maynard, IA).