Chuck Randall, who coached men’s basketball 18 seasons at Western Washington University from 1962 to 1981, was named 2015 Basketball Old Timers Man of the Year on Wednesday, May 6, at the 63rd annual Basketball Old-Timers Banquet which took place at the Ballard Elks Lodge in Seattle.
Previous winners of the prestigious award are Walt Milroy, Rod Belcher, Roman Miller, Irv Leifer and Bing Dahl.
The 88-year-old Randall, who posted a record of 275-186 while directing the Vikings, has received hall of fame honors from Central Valley High School, WWU, Eastern Washington University and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He was named WWU men’s Coach of the Century for 1900-99.
Randall’s best WWU team was the 1971-72 squad that finished 26-4 and reached the national quarterfinals, winning conference and NAIA District 1 titles. The Vikings won their first 21 games, and took a memorable two-out-of-three district championship series over Eastern Washington, then won twice at nationals in Kansas City, Missouri, before falling. Randall was named NAIA Area I Coach of the Year.
Off the court, Randall began the first summer basketball camp in the state during the 1960s and is recognized by many as the inventor of the Slam-Dunk Rim.
After retiring from WWU, Randall attended nearly every practice for both the Viking men’s and women’s basketball teams for many years, only in the last few seasons cutting back to just the home games for those two squads.
Born in Farmington, Wash., on Dec, 15, 1926, Randall was raised in Veradale, located just east of Spokane. He was a three-year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball at Central Valley High School.
After serving in the army as a paratrooper during World War II, Randall received his bachelor of arts degree at Eastern Washington, where he played baseball, in 1949 and obtained his master’s degree at Washington State in 1954.
After teaching and coaching four years at Opportunity Grade School, Randall moved up to the high school ranks where he coached at Riverside, Republic, Lindbergh, Freeman and Lind high schools, all located in eastern Washington.
During that time, Randall founded the Conifer Basketball Summer Camp at Snoqualmie Pass. Later, a second site was started at Snow Valley, Calif.
During the summer of 1961, while working at his California camp, Randall was hired to coach at El Segundo High School, located near Los Angeles. In his only season there, Randall directed the Eagles to their first league title since 1936 and was named Coach of the Year.
Randall came to WWU the next season. Four times he was named Evergreen Conference Coach of the Year and earned similar recognition from NAIA District 1 on three occasions.
Randall is known as the “Coaches’ Coach” for the high percentage of his players who went on coach and teach at every level – elementary, junior high, high school and college.
In the summer of 1968, Randall took his WWU team on a tour of Asia and Australia under the auspices of People-to-People Program International, the Vikings winning 15 of 21 games.
On Feb. 12, 1975, Randall suffered a severe heart attack. He underwent open-heart surgery that summer and took a one-year leave of absence. He had another major heart attack on Jan. 23, 2013.
Randall also coached baseball at WWU, directing the Vikings to two national tournament appearances, placing fifth in 1964 and eighth in 1965.
Randall and his wife Doris have been married 60 years. They have three grown children: Jennifer, Jeff and John, and a granddaughter, Novella.