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HALE: King one of those special coaches

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There are all types of high school basketball coaches.

Some coach for a few years and then go into private business. Others coach until they get into the administration level of education. And there are those who coach until the day they retire.

There are bad coaches, good coaches and outstanding coaches.

However, every now and then a coach comes along and is just a different breed.

These type of coaches are special. They become legends.

If anyone fits the bill of a legend, it is former Oakland boys basketball coach Randy King.

Some former co-workers of mine used to sit around and joke that Randy King could take five us in the office and go win 20 games in a season.

That’s what Randy King did – he consistently won basketball games.

In more than 30 years of coaching Oakland High School, King amassed an incredible 552-168 record before retiring in 2009. He won at least 20 games in 20 consecutive seasons.

So, it should come as no surprise that King was one of eight elected to the TSSAA Hall of Fame this past week. His induction ceremony will be held Saturday, April 5, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.

Other’s being inducted include: Gary Householder, administrator from Seymour; Chic Nute, administrator from Munford; the late Glenn McCadams, coach from Nashville; Ken Colquette, coach from Jasper; Melvin Black, official from Nashville; Marvin Doggett, official from Cordova; and the late Willie Brown, contributor from Nashville.

King’s Patriots reached the TSSAA state tournament five times, and the gymnasium at Oakland is named in his honor.

I remember an old football coach saying one time that if your name is on a stadium or building, you must be pretty special.

Well, King was special. You don’t see the likes of him roaming the sidelines anymore.

High school coaching is a tough profession. You spend a lot of time away from your family. There are malcontents you have to deal with. There are parents who think they know the game better than you that you have to deal with.

Coaching teenagers can flat take its toll on you.

But King, who was an assistant for a decade under former Pats coach Dickie Thomas, made it his career and life passion.

He coached at a high level, his teams played at a high level and he’ll forever be remembered as one of those “special” people who help make high school basketball the great game it is today.

Well done, coach. Congratulations on a most deserving honor.

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Basketball, Oakland, Randy King, Sports, TSSAA
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