Steven Stepanian '22
Young Steve Stepanian was working and playing basketball professionally at the YMCA in New York City when Grove City College athletic director Bob Thorn offered him an athletic scholarship.
In 1922, this New Britain, Conn. native departed Grove City with nine varsity letters and a college degree in math and history while also launching a remarkable education/athletic career that spanned six decades.
A bona fide all-around athlete, "Step" led Grove City in one of its finest eras of sports history. He lettered as a third baseman on the baseball field and as a quarterback for the football team.
"Step" made his greatest impact on the basketball court,
though, as a starting guard for three years. Grove City won a school-record 22
during Stepanianís college days, including wins over big-name Duquesne, Georgetown, Pitt and West Virginia.
As a junior in 1921, Stepanian led Grove City to the
Tri-State Basketball Championship. In his senior season, Grove City
represented the East
Region at the National Intercollegiate Tournament in Indianapolis and he earned All-America laurels. He received Tri-State All-Star honors in his junior and senior seasons.
Charleroi High School hired Stepanian as a teacher and coach after graduation and he became one of the most successful scholastic coaches in Pennsylvania history. He coached football, basketball and track and guided his teams to five WPIAL titles. Stepanian worked as athletic director for 20 years and then served as principal for seven years. He also spent 15 years as a high school and college football official.
Stepanian has been inducted into the Sports Halls of Fame for Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, Mon Valley, Pennsylvania Coaches, and Western Pennsylvania Football Officials.
His bio material reports he played semi-professional basketball and baseball under assumed names when Grove City was not playing its games. He married a Grove City College classmate and May Queen, Edithmarion McElligott. Coach Thorn served as best man at their wedding. Stepanian passed away in 1976.