Saint Leo University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Lance Randall tendered his resignation on Monday, in order to accept a position at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.
“Lance Randall created a culture of excellence, and the by-product was a winning basketball program in a sport which we had struggled in for many years,” said Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy. “We are appreciative of all Coach Randall was able to accomplish in a remarkably short period of time, athletically and academically with our basketball student athletes. We wish Lance, wife Pam, and the entire Randall family the best in all their future endeavors.”
During his four seasons at Saint Leo, Randall turned the Lions into a regional contender.
With Randall at the helm, Saint Leo earned three NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship berths, reaching the Second Round in both 2013 and 2014. In both seasons, Saint Leo men’s hoops set a new program record for wins with a 22-8 mark in 2012-13, and a 24-9 record in 2013-14.
Randall coached a pair of All-Americans in Marcus Ruh (2013) and Jerrel Harris (2014), with Ruh also claiming Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year honors that same season. Four of his players were named to All-SSC teams, in addition to a pair of conference Newcomers of the Year in Trent Thomas (2012) and Harris (2013).
Randall himself was named the SSC’s Coach of the Year in 2012.
Under Randall’s watch, Saint Leo men’s basketball was the only program to finish among the top three in the SSC from 2011-12 to 2013-14, and, along with Florida Southern, was one of only two programs from Division II’s South Region to reach the NCAA tournament in each of those three seasons.
“I am forever in gratitude of (Saint Leo University President) Dr. Kirk and Fran Reidy for providing me the chance to be a part of this University. Our family will carry many lasting memories and strong friendships from our time here,” said Randall.
“I am very proud of the hard work the young men, assistant coaches and staff put it to build Lion basketball into a program of national recognition including three NCAA tournament invites in four years. I am especially proud of our four straight years over 3.0 GPA as a team and the tremendous class and dignity with which our men’s basketball student-athletes represented our program and the entire Saint Leo community. We are looking forward to new challenges in our former hometown of St. Louis, but we will always cherish our time at Saint Leo. I look forward to following their future successes,” added Randall.
Randall’s teams emphasized defensive prowess, and the Lions were among the top 25 teams in Division II in scoring defense all four seasons he was head coach. Saint Leo was also among the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage defense in three of his four seasons.
In 2014-15, Saint Leo owned the free-throw line and led the nation with a .803 free-throw percentage.
One of the highlights of Randall’s tenure at Saint Leo was the Lions’ 69-67 exhibition win over the University of Miami at the start of the 2012-13 season, despite the Hurricane starters remaining in the game for long minutes to try and stave-off the upset.
“We will begin a national search immediately for our next coach,” said Reidy.
For more information on the Saint Leo men’s basketball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.