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Meet Melvin Randall-Ely USA Basketball Coach of the Year

March 31, 2015
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PROFILE

Name: Melvin Randall

School: Blanche Ely, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Details: Coached team to 28-0 record and the 7A state title. He has won four state titles at Ely since 2007. He also won a state 6A title at Deerfield Beach in 1999 and a 5A title at Deerfield Beach in 1995. He was an All-State player at South Plantation (Plantation) and played for an NCAA tournament team at Mercer University. Has been a coach for 23 seasons with an overall record of 482-141.

Toughest to coach against: Darryl Burrows of Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) does a tremendous job. I always had to be on the top of my game with him. Another one is Marty Seidlin from Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale).

Super power I’d like to have: In previous years, I would have liked the power to reverse time and change a play that I had drawn up in certain situations.

My biggest basketball influences: I have maybe five or six. Coach Butch Ingram at Dillard, who passed away about 10 years ago. Greg Samuel was great coach at Hallandale. John Keister, my old coach at South Plantation. Wade Edmonds, whom I studied at Blanche Ely when they won their state title in 1993 and Otis Gray, the late football coach at Dillard, who was winning consistently and winning championships. Last but not least, Louise Crocco, who was a longtime volleyball coach at Cardinal Gibbons. She is a living legend. I went to her games, just to see what this lady was doing to win multiple state and national titles and see what her demeanor was with her players. Those are the people who played a very important role in my career.

More dress shoes or sneakers: Dress shoes.

Favorite saying: I always ask my guys, ‘What is our defensive philosophy.’ They answer, “Aggressive and intense deny defense.’ But it’s more than just saying it, it’s displaying it.

Favorite teachers: My high school basketball coach, John Keister and his wife Carol Keister. I had her as my teacher for all four years in math at South Plantation. I had to earn everything I got in that class. As a result of those two, I’m a high school basketball coach and a math teacher of 29 years.

Hidden talents: I’m a heck of a card player when it comes to Spades. One of my athletes about eight years ago taught me how to fish and now I love it.

First car: I had a Buick LTD, I think it was a 1978 or 1979, when I went off to school at Mercer.

First job: I had a job in the summer as a recreational leader in high school.

Favorite musicians: Toni Braxton and Luther Vandross.

My inspiration: When I was coaching in middle school, I had good teams but I could never win a county championship. After leaving middle school coaching and getting into the high school sector, things started coming around for me. I guess when I was coaching in middle school, it just wasn’t my time yet. The light came on for me after we won our first district title in high school.

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