Basketball coach Wes Hepler told the Observer on Tuesday that he has resigned as a physical education teacher at Myers Park High School and accepted a similar job at North Gaston in Dallas, where he will also coach boys’ basketball.
Hepler, 35, has been making a 45-minute commute from Dallas on school days and wanted to work closer to home and his family, which includes 3-year-old son Schae.
“I have loved my 12 years teaching and coaching at Myers Park,” Hepler said. “But while I have been working in Charlotte, my home and family have been in Dallas. ...With the addition of our little boy Schae, I have become increasingly overwhelmed with a passion to work closer to my family and invest in the community where I call home.”
Hepler has worked at Myers Park since 2004. He has been boys’ basketball coach since 2011, when he succeeded Rick Lewis, who became athletics director. Under Hepler, Myers Park’s record is 76-60 and the school has had three straight winning seasons. Hepler led the Mustangs to the N.C. 4A Western Regionals in the 2014-15 season. It was Myers Park’s fourth regional berth in school history.
Last season, Myers Park was 15-12 and lost to Butler in the Southwestern 4A tournament championship game.
While at Myers Park, Hepler also coached the Mustangs’ girls’ basketball, golf and baseball teams. He led the baseball team to a conference tournament and regular-season championship. He led the golf team to the 2006 N.C. 4A state title.
Before arriving at Myers Park, Hepler was an assistant baseball coach at Belmont Abbey, which is also in Gaston County.
“We have lived in Dallas for eight years now and getting ready to build a house,” Hepler said. “My wife’s whole family is in Dallas and that’s where we are going to be. And the opportunity comes up where I can drive 2 miles to work and watch my little boy on the sidelines and watch him practice, it’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
“But I’ve been here for 12 years and I have built a lot of strong relationships. That’s one of the toughest things to walk away from. I love working here at Myers Park, other than it’s too far from where I live.”
▪ Junior varsity coach Nick Jones will serve as Myers Park’s interim coach until the school names Hepler’s replacement. Lewis said he hopes to have a new coach hired by the end of the month.
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr