Monday, November 19, 2001
Founding father of OU athletics dies
Oakland University lost a great friend Friday, Nov. 16, when former Athletic Director Hollie Lepley passed away in Englewood, Colo., at the age of 89.
Lepley worked at OU from 1959 through 1979. He was tabbed the founding father of OU athletics after serving as the university's first athletic director from 1959-72. From 1972-79, he worked as a professor of education.
During Lepley's tenure as athletic director, extensive intramural recreation and club sport programs were set up and the athletic program was initiated in 1964, with the first sports being cross country, soccer, basketball and swimming.
Lepley also was instrumental in the formation of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference and played a significant role in planning the Katke-Cousins Golf Course. He contributed to the design of OU's Sports and Recreation Building and developed many of the university's outdoor athletic facilities. He also began many educational programs including a minor in physical education.
Upon retirement, OU's Sports and Recreation Building was named the Lepley Sports Center in his honor. Lepley was inducted into the Oakland University Athletics Hall of Honor in 1984.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Hollie Lepley and our warmest thoughts go to his family," said Jack Mehl, director of athletics. "Hollie was a warm and dedicated professional, an educator in every sense of the word, and he will be missed by all he touched."
When Lepley retired from OU in 1979, he moved with his wife, Margaret, to Colorado where he worked with handicapped children.