EAST PEORIA, Ill. – It took nearly 50 years of service, but Bill Epperly reached prep coaching’s pinnacle on Wednesday night. The longtime Kalispell Flathead coach was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association hall of fame.

Epperly’s coaching career began in 1959 at Bozeman Rosary High School and all but three of his 49 years were spent at the high school level, with the other three years served at Montana Tech.

Epperly guided Kalispell Flathead to two Class AA boys basketball championships (1982, 1989) while the Braves also finished runner-up in 1986. He was also a two-time winner of the Montana Coaches Association coach of the year honor and was inducted into the MCA hall of fame in 1990. Epperly, who was a finalistĀ for the 1993 NHSACA boys basketball coach of the year, was also a dedicated track and field coach in Kalispell. He was a member of 13 state championship teams as an assistant coach.