Skip to Content

Northeast community mourning death of legendary “Coach Sep”

More than just a football coach. More than just a mentor. More than just a friend.

ABC-7 is sharing stories of former Andress football coach Allan Sepkowitz, who died Thursday from bleeding in his brain. The legendary coach was recovering from brain surgery he underwent the week of Christmas after he suffered a stroke.

His influence in the Borderland stretched way beyond just football.

“I don’t think words express how proud we are of him and the accomplishments he’s had for kids in the El Paso area,” former EPISD Athletic Director Ken Owen told ABC-7 as he choked back tears.

Upon retirement in 2012, Coach Sepkowitz, who played on NMSU’s last bowl team in 1960 before spending 47 years at Andress, 36 as head coach, Sepkowitz was compared to the late/great Don Haskins. He seemed to like that comparison.

“I guess so,” Sepkowitz said four years ago. “I guess you could say that because, if i could be in the same breath as Coach Haskins, then I guess we’ve done something right.”

Coach Sep was arguably the most-influential man ever to live in Northeast El Paso. How popular was he? The flag here at Andress High School was at half staff on Friday.

“You feel the history, the heritage,” said current Andress football coach Jeff Woodruff, who indicated Sepkowitz will be the first to be inducted into the program’s new ring of honor. “You won’t find coaches that are at a school 40 years anymore. That’s not going to happen. So this is the last of a breed.”

David Elliott was an assistant coach for Sepkowitz for more than a decade.

“This man, for 47 years, was Northeast El Paso,” Elliott said. “My father worked with him and then my four sons played for him, so he’s got a lot of history with our family. He was a football coach for 47 years, but he taught those kids life lessons,

When Sepkowitz was asked in 2012 why he stayed at Andress for 47 years, he replied: “I just felt like in life there’s a little niche for you and I just felt like that niche was working with high school kids.”

Former Andress Eagle and NFL player Ray Mickens told ABC-7: “Coach Sep had a special place in my heart. He helped pave the way for me to be successful, and not just in football, but in life in general.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. Woodruff told ABC-7 he expects services to be private, but the school is planning a public memorial early next week.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content