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Nebraska coaching legend Gary Pepin announces retirement – Lincoln Journal Star

Gary Pepin loves track and field.

To coach at the college level for more than 50 years — including 42 seasons at Nebraska — you have to love it. 

But, the time to move on has come, as Pepin announced his retirement in a news release Thursday. Pepin’s 42-year tenure at Nebraska is the longest by a head coach in school history. A new coach has not been named.

Pepin had to love it to keep putting in the hours — mornings in the office, then hours each afternoon at the track, then sometimes recruiting calls in the evening. In addition to leading the program, he coached the long and triple jump events, where Husker athletes won at the NCAA Championship meet 10 times.

He isn’t fond of flying, so that meant a lot of time in a car. If the team flew to a meet, he often headed out early in a car.

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And then there are all of those people to manage. The combined men’s and women’s team had about 115 athletes — a significant amount of athletes to recruit each season. And with just 18 scholarships for women and 12.6 for men, it’s a balancing act to make it work and field a solid team. There’s also a staff of about 15 people, including assistant coaches, recruiting staff and volunteer coaches.

Pepin liked having a complete track program. While some college teams build their squad around a few events — maybe the sprints or distance — Pepin loved fielding a team that had a chance to score in every running and field event.

Pepin’s tenure at Nebraska spanned five decades, with the Huskers hanging enough championship banners during that time to fill one side of the indoor track at the Devaney Sports Center. And 22 of those titles came when Nebraska was going up against the warm-weather schools in Texas.

In 2008, Pepin was inducted into the sport’s coaching Hall of Fame — and then he coached 14 more years.

“It has been an absolute honor to coach here at Nebraska,” Pepin said in a news release. “I have worked with numerous amazing coaches and world-class student-athletes. I will continue to follow and support the program and look forward to spending more time with my family in retirement. The future is bright here at Nebraska and I am confident that the program will continue to develop and find success.”

Pepin became the head coach of the Husker women in 1981, and then added the men’s program in 1984.

He was hired when Bob Devaney was about midway through his tenure as athletic director, and then Pepin worked for six more ADs.

With each of his bosses, Pepin was a fierce advocate for his program, pushing for the budget needed to hire a strong staff, recruit top athletes, have great facilities and travel to meets that would prepare the athletes for the big meets at the end of the season.

Pepin also worked hard to promote the sport. When a reporter came to his office, Pepin would bring them a cup of coffee, and then answer questions and tell stories as long as they’d like. And he could tell stories. Name a town in the midwest, and the coach probably has a story about an athlete, coach or track official who calls that place home.

Pepin would also share his home phone number and occasionally follow up with a thank-you card. 

Pepin’…….

Source: https://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/nebraska-coaching-legend-gary-pepin-announces-retirement/article_62cb4c5a-568e-5061-a0fc-955576ff7fa6.html

Gary Pepin loves track and field.

To coach at the college level for more than 50 years — including 42 seasons at Nebraska — you have to love it. 

But, the time to move on has come, as Pepin announced his retirement in a news release Thursday. Pepin’s 42-year tenure at Nebraska is the longest by a head coach in school history. A new coach has not been named.

Pepin had to love it to keep putting in the hours — mornings in the office, then hours each afternoon at the track, then sometimes recruiting calls in the evening. In addition to leading the program, he coached the long and triple jump events, where Husker athletes won at the NCAA Championshi…….

Gary Pepin loves track and field.

To coach at the college level for more than 50 years — including 42 seasons at Nebraska — you have to love it. 

But, the time to move on has come, as Pepin announced his retirement in a news release Thursday. Pepin’s 42-year tenure at Nebraska is the longest by a head coach in school history. A new coach has not been named.

Pepin had to love it to keep putting in the hours — mornings in the office, then hours each afternoon at the track, then sometimes recruiting calls in the evening. In addition to leading the program, he coached the long and triple jump events, where Husker athletes won at the NCAA Championshi…….

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