Epperson Looks To Stay The Course At H-SC

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

When Richard Epperson takes over as the Athletics Director at Hampden-Sydney College in January, he'll employ a well-used, but poignant adage.

“Don't try to fix a working clock.”

Epperson, a 1979 graduate of H-SC, and Prince Edward Academy, will replace longtime AD Joe Bush in the athletics department, but he's no stranger to Hampden-Sydney, having been employed by the school in a variety of different capacities since August of 1997.

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“This feels right for me, and it's coming at the right time in my career” said Epperson. “Joe and I discussed my interest [in the position] a couple of years ago, but I didn't know anything about his retiring until he made his announcement.

“Joe has been good for Hampden-Sydney, and not only for the school, but for the community as a whole. He's always done things the right way, and that the department is in such good shape is a tribute to him and what he's done here.”

After a four-year career as a baseball player at H-SC, Epperson coached at the former Gill School in Richmond, before moving to his alma mater Prince Edward Academy. After a successful coaching career, he became Athletics Director, and later Headmaster at PEA/Fuqua School.

The desire to get back into athletics was always there, but only in the right situation.

“Only at Hampden-Sydney. I've been fortunate to work at both of my alma maters. [My wife] Debbie and I are happy here, and I wasn't looking to move. It's the right place at the right time for me.”

The placard on the door to the AD's office will say a different name in January, but don't expect much more to change under Epperson's watch.

“The facilities are in great shape, as is the coaching staff. It's a family atmosphere, and everyone shares Hampden-Sydney's philosophy of 'Forming Good Men and Good Citizens.'

“It's about more than wins and losses. That said, we will always maintain a pursuit of excellence on the field and in the classroom.”

Epperson did say that the school is looking into adding a track program, but a decision was nowhere near.

“One person came up to me at the Hall of Fame luncheon and asked what's the first thing I was going to do. I said that 'I was going to work hard to not mess it up.' Joe put together a program that doesn't need a lot of tinkering.

“I think I have a good lay of the land, and I've made some wonderful contacts at other colleges in the ODAC and at other universities, so I feel comfortable with the other 'players in the arena' so to speak. I'm just excited to get things started in January.”