Former WWU basketball coach Chuck Randall to receive honor
Aug. 27, 2008
CHENEY, Wash. - Legendary basketball coach Chuck Randall, the inventor of the collapsible basketball rim, will be this year's recipient of the Eastern Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award.
The 1951 graduate of Eastern went on to coach 18 years at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. Randall, who recently authored a book called "My Impossible Dream," will be honored on Sept. 20 when the Eastern and Western football teams clash at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash. The battle between former NAIA rivals starts at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time.
Randall will also be recognized the following week when four new members will be inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame. Those honored include former football All-American Kevin Sargent, golfer and current Indian Canyon golf pro Gary Lindeblad and former gymnastics coaches Maxine Davis and Jack Benson, who also competed in gymnastics for Eastern.
The "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team will also be honored that weekend in conjunction with Eastern's Big Sky Conference football game versus Idaho State at 12:37 p.m. Pacific time.
Randall grew up in Spokane and graduated from Central Valley High School. He graduated from Eastern in 1951 and went on to become a high school coach. He eventually spent 18 years as head coach from 1963-81 at Western Washington University where he compiled a 274-183 record.
His 1971-72 Viking team posted a best-ever 26-4 mark, reaching the quarterfinal round of the NAIA National Tournament. His many honors included NAIA Area I Coach of the Year (1972), NAIA District 1 Coach of the Year (1966, 1971, 1972) and Evergreen Conference Coach of the Year (1966, 1971, 1972, 1975).
In addition, he directed the Western baseball team to two national tournament appearances, with the Vikings placing fifth nationally in 1964 and eighth in 1965. He was elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1985, and was selected as WWU's Men's Coach of the Century (1900-1999) in 1999. He is also a member of the Washington State Basketball Coaches and Western Washington University Athletics halls of fame.
In all, he won nearly 500 games total in 35 years of coaching basketball. But his contribution to the game didn't stop there.
After beating Eastern Washington 61-60 in Bellingham late in the 1974-75 season, Eastern head coach Jerry Krause showed Randall that the rim was bent.
Three days later, Randall suffered a severe heart attack that forced him to sit out a season to recover. During that year, he began tinkering with a collapsible rim and he eventually marketed the "Slam Dunk" rim for a short time before selling the business. Others introduced similar products at the same time and also claim recognition as the inventors.
Besides his rim invention, Randall founded the first basketball camp west of the Appalachian Mountains. Randall was known as a "Coaches Coach" with one-third of his players at Western going on to coach at schools throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In January 2008, a book on his life called "My Impossible Dream" was published, as told to author Barbara Kindness.
Randall, 81, still resides in Bellingham with his wife of 60 years, Doris.
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