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A giant passes: Former Parkersburg South coach Scott Stephens loses battle with tumor

Photo provided Former Parkersburg South coach and player Scott Stephens (sitting) and daughter Kim prepare for a Patriot regular-season with team photos. Scott lost a two-month battle with an aggressive brain tumor Saturday night.

PARKERSBURG — Larger than life in more ways than one, Glenville State College assistant women’s basketball coach and former Parkersburg South girls head coach Scott Stephens died Saturday after losing a two-month battle against a brain tumor.

A 1973 graduate of Parkersburg High School, Stephens earned third team all-state honors after leading the Big Reds to a state runner-up finish against Charleston (25-0) his senior year. PHS also was a state quarterfinalist during his sophomore campaign.

Following graduation, he spent two years at Pittsburgh and the 1974 Panther squad advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina State.

After his sophomore year, he transferred to Ohio University.

Youngest daughter Kim, the current Glenville State College head women’s coach, brought her father on board with the Pioneers following his final year as the Patriot head coach in 2016.

During a May 2017 interview with WCHS-TV, Scott Stephens said “when you get to chase a dream with your kid, it can’t get any more fun than that.”

“There is no coach I respect more as a coach, father and man than coach Stephens,” expressed Jason White, the head coach at Morgantown High School who watched his Mohigans defeat the Patriots in back-to-back state championship games in 2014-15. “When I got the job at Morgantown his program was the program that everyone wanted to knock off.”

Stephens started his head coaching career at PSHS in 2003 and during his 13-year tenure the Patriots lost the two title games to the Mohigans, but also won state crowns in 2006, 2008 and 2013.

According to Parkersburg South’s Bill Camp, Stephens amassed a 255-87 overall record that also included 11 sectional and 10 regional championships.

Two dozen girls went on to play either Division I or Division II basketball, which included daughters Anne and Jill competing at the University of Cincinnati. Kim Stephens, who played at GSC, was a member of the Patriots’ first championship team in 2006.

“Scott Stephens will be sorely missed not only as a coach, but mentor and friend,” stated Camp, who noted Stephens had nine players earn first team all-state honors along with five on the second team and a quartet on the third team. “His sense of humor, positive outlook and love of kids helped him forge life-long friendships with those he came into contact with, whether it be a player on his own team, opposing player or opposing coach.

“He had such class about how he handled everything, win or lose. Scott’s mark on the program wasn’t just about state championships and player accolades. His drive to improve the operations and facilities of the girls basketball program, putting it on par with their boys counterparts, has and will continue to benefit Parkersburg South for years to come.”

Ed Davis spent five years as an assistant to Stephens before taking over as the Patriot head coach in 2016 where he guided the program for three years.

“He was such a well-rounded great guy. I think he did such a great job,” Davis said. “When I was with him every day, to watch how much he cared for those young ladies it was so obvious how supportive that he was of them both on and off the court. His whole family, (wife) Linda and grandma Betty and how they developed that feeling around the program, it was a cool thing.

“The time I got to spend there was really cool to be a part of. He was a great coach and his record speaks for itself. The impact he left and continues to have, his life experiences that he shared with them, his faith and just things that prepared them for life so well after high school. He did such a great job of doing that. You could see it in the success of those kids and young ladies he coached how they speak of that impact now. I think that’s one of his biggest legacies.”

A person many would consider selfless, Stephens was many things to many people. A social media post even expressed gratitude for the donations he used to make to students involved in the Future Business Leaders of America when they needed help to fund their trips to nationals.

“We had some great battles early on but what struck me about coach Stephens, other than his gigantic handshake, was just how big his heart was,” coach White added. “He would always talk to my kids and really cared about how they were doing, even after they graduated. He was the same kind Scott in victory and in defeat. My favorite Scott Stephens stories are from my first couple years. The first occurred during the warmups of the state championship game my first year (2014). I met coach Stephens at center court while our teams were going through warmups.

“I was a nervous wreck and I think he sensed it. He came up with his usual larger than life handshake and pat on the back. He said why don’t we go ahead and agree to meet right here same time and same place next year. Of course, I started laughing and said ‘where do I sign!’ I always loved playing his teams. You knew as a coach his teams were going to be ready to play and they had the whole community behind them. I sure will miss coach Stephens. The world lost a great man!”

Coach Stephens watched his trio of daughters combine for 3,543 points and 2,474 career rebounds while at Parkersburg South.

Kim Stephens, who said the reason she went into coaching was because of her father, posted the following last week on Twitter.

Dad told mom, “I’m going to Heaven and I will save you a seat right beside me, but I may get a girlfriend first.”

The family requested anyone posting about coach Stephens on social media to use “Give God Glory” #3G.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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