By Kyle LoJacono
When 10-year Saint Leo University men’s basketball coach Mike Madagan resigned in February, Lions athletic director Francis Reidy expressed a desire for more wins from the program.
Reidy found a coach who only knows winning.
Lance Randall was appointed to lead Saint Leo basketball on April 8, becoming the program’s 10th coach. Randall most recently was the associate head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a Division III program, since 2009. The Pointers went 26-4 last season and won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2010.
“I am looking forward to the challenges that await, as we work towards building a championship program steeped in the core values of Saint Leo University,” Randall said.
Randall, who was born in Wisconsin, is a 1994 graduate of Beloit College with a degree in government and also has a Masters of Arts in teaching from Webster University. While playing at Beloit, Randall was a two-time basketball team captain and a team MVP.
Randall has coached basketball on several levels, including at high schools and collegiately, during the past 17 years. He began coaching as an assistant at his alma mater Beloit from 1994-97, winning two Midwest Conference Championships.
He then moved to Webster in 1997 and had the task of turning around a team that went 2-23 the previous year. The Gorlocks responded quickly, winning the 1999 and 2000 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) championships. Randall became the winningest coach ever for Webster and was named SLIAC Coach of the Year twice.
Randall left Webster and served a two-year stint as the coach and vice president of operations for the Pertemps Birmingham Bullets, a professional team in Birmingham, England. He returned to the states in 2002 and was on the staff at Saint Louis University until 2004.
Randall moved to the high school ranks in 2005 with Oshkosh West in Wisconsin. In three years his squad posted a 71-3 record, including two state championships and a 26-0 record in 2006.
Randall was an assistant at Loyola University in Chicago for one year before taking over as the dean of students and assistant athletic director with Cedarburg High in Wisconsin from 2008-09.
Randall even worked as a coach with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs Summer League team in July of 2010.
“We had many strong candidates for this position, and were very pleased with each of the finalists,” Reidy said. “However, Lance Randall’s varied experience at virtually every level, NBA, European professional, Division I, Division III and high school, where success occurred at each stop was one of the major factors in him being selected. His various positions have created a diversified network of contacts, which will be useful in recruiting in other regions and even other continents.”
Reidy said Randall’s experience at other positions was also a factor in his selection.
“Lance’s experience as a sports information director and assistant athletic director gave him an edge on how to market and bring attention to the program, key ingredients when constructing a new beginning,” Reidy said. “We look forward to Lance, wife Pamela and children Evelyn, River, Ruby and Rocco becoming part of the Saint Leo community as we move into a new era with our basketball program.”
Randall’s debut to Division II basketball will require him to use all his skills. Saint Leo went 12-16 last year, winning just two Sunshine State Conference games and missing the conference tournament. The Lions last had a winning season in 1997-98, when the squad went 19-9.
“I look forward to getting to know our players and for the challenge of making Saint Leo a winner,” Randall said. “It’s a great university and we will do everything we can to make it known for basketball.”