JACKSON TWP — Dorothea Epps is back in the coaching game ... and not far from home.
The Butler resident was approved June 3 to take charge of the girls basketball program at Seneca Valley. She replaces Todd Schoeffel, who took over last fall after then-head coach Rob Lombardo abruptly resigned for family reasons.
Schoeffel guided the Raiders to a 15-8 record last winter as the Raiders qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the sixth straight year.
“There are some talented young ladies returning next season,” Epps said of the Raiders. “Our goal is to win a section title and go after a WPIAL title. That's what we are setting our sights on.”
Epps holds a 159-120 career record from her 12 seasons at Butler (2003-15), which included a run of three straight section titles, the last coming in 2010. Shortly after resigning from her post at Butler, she accepted an assistant position under Lombardo at SV and spent three years with the Raiders.
Epps did not coach last season.
“It was not my (initial) intention to become a head coach again,” said Epps, “but this opportunity arose and you start to get that itch. I decided to throw my name out there.”
Her previous time at Seneca Valley gives Epps a sense of familiarity, which will help the transition.
“I've always been comfortable with Heather Lewis (SV athletic director). She's always been very accommodating,” she said. “It was a pleasure working with the people here before and I'm looking forward to doing it again.”
“She interviewed so well, had great energy,” said Lewis. “I had the chance to watch her coach before and she is very driven.”
Epps spoke with SV's returning players and their parents the same night she got the job.
“It went very well,” she said. “Now we have to get into the open gyms. It all starts in the off-season.
“(Seneca Valley) knew I had some pretty good teams when I was at Butler,” she said. “I felt what I have to offer is what they were looking for here. We want to keep the girls basketball program moving forward and take it to the next level.”
Epps has no shortage of people in her corner, Lombardo included.
“Seneca Valley hit a home run,” he said. “They could not have done a better job with this and I'm very excited for Dorothea.”