May 9, 2008
Watch Video of the Press Conference
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus announced today that Semeka Randall has been named the new head women's basketball coach at Ohio. Randall, a native of Cleveland, is the ninth head coach in the program's history.
"It is my dream job to coach in the state of Ohio," Randall said. "If you look at my previous coaching experiences, you'll see that I've always positioned myself around this state because it's a great place for women's basketball. Ohio is a great school. I like that it urges student-athletes to excel in the classroom and on the court. It's just a great place and I'm looking forward to becoming part of the Ohio basketball family and the Athens community!"
The former Tennessee All-American and four-year WNBA veteran, who will be inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame on May 17, comes to Ohio University after spending a year as an assistant coach at West Virginia. Prior to that, Randall was an assistant coach at Michigan State from 2005-07. During her tenure at MSU, the Spartans played for the national championship in 2005, advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 and made it to the NCAA second round in 2007. Prior to her tenure at Michigan State, Randall served as an assistant coach at Cleveland State from 2002-03.
"We hit a winning half-court shot at the buzzer in hiring Semeka Randall," said Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "I am very excited about her leading our program and is a perfect fit for what we were looking for. She is energetic and tenacious to succeed. She will be wonderful with our players and our fans and has a big smile. I look forward to this new and exciting chapter for Bobcat women's basketball under her leadership. She is glad to be back home."
A standout guard for the Lady Vols from 1998-2001, Randall earned Kodak All-America First Team honors in 1999 and 2000. She was an integral part of Tennessee's 1998 NCAA Championship team that went 39-0, averaging 15.9 points a game while earning honorable mention All-America recognition.
"Semeka has a strong coaching background, including being with programs that have competed in the NCAA Tournament," Schaus continued. "She is from Ohio and has strong recruiting ties to the area. She has played at the highest level as a high school All-American in Cleveland, was a starting guard at Tennessee and won the national championship. She also played four years in the WNBA and is a winner in everything she has done!"
In addition to her All-America honors, she was named Women's Basketball Journal's Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000, first-team All-Southeastern Conference in 1999 and 2000, second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team in 1998, and was on the NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament team in 1998 and 2000.
"Semeka has enjoyed success at all levels -- as a player at Tennessee, in the WNBA, and as a valued assistant at schools in the Big Ten and the BIG EAST," said Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt. "I know she is going to take the same energy, passion and drive that she exhibited as a player and transfer it into her new role as the head coach at Ohio."
Randall scored 1,915 points during her career at Tennessee (13.7 ppg) and added 716 rebounds (5.1 rpg), 286 steals and 236 assists. She ranks fifth on the Lady Vols' career charts in both points and steals, and third in free throws made (439). Tennessee posted a record of 134-10 during her four-year career, including championship appearances in 1998 and 2000. During the summer of 1998, Randall was the leading scorer for the gold medal-winning USA Jones Cup team.
Randall was the first player chosen in the second round (17th overall) of the 2001 WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm. She started 30 of 32 games as a rookie, averaging a career-best 9.4 points. She averaged 5.8 points during her 123-game WNBA career, including 55 starts.
In 2001-02, Randall started all 16 games at point guard and averaged 19 points while playing for the Israeli Professional Basketball League. She played in the Greek Professional Basketball League in 2002-03, again starting all 16 games for her squad. In 2003, she was a member of the Tennessee Fury of the National Women's Basketball League, averaging 12.2 points as a shooting guard.
In 2004, she completed her four-year WNBA career which included stops in Seattle (2001-02), Utah (2002) and San Antonio (2003-04). She also played in the National Women's Basketball League and in professional leagues in Israel (2001-02) and Greece (2002-03).
Prior to her exemplary playing career at Tennessee and in the professional ranks, Randall was an accomplished basketball player in high school. She was Parade Magazine's Player of the Year and a first-team All-American in 1997 while starring at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights, Ohio. She was Ohio's Miss Basketball in 1996 and 1997, a member of the 1996 and 1997 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Teams, the MVP of the Ohio state basketball tournament in 1994 and 1996 and the Gatorade Circle of Champions Midwest Player of the Year in 1997.
Randall graduated from Tennessee in December of 2000 with a bachelor's degree in speech communications.
THE RANDALL FILE
Name: Semeka Randall
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Education: Tennessee (B.A., Speech Communications, 2000)
Collegiate Athletic Experience: Basketball (Tennessee 1997-2001)
Professional Athletic Experience:
WNBA (Seattle 2001-02;Utah 2002; San Antonio 2003-04)
Israeli Professional League (2001-02);
Greek Professional League 2002-03);
National Women's Basketball League (2003)
Two-time First Team All-American (1999, 2000);
Honorable Mention All-American (1998);
Women's Basketball Journal's Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000);
First Team All-SEC (1999, 2000);
SEC All-Freshman Team and Second Team All-SEC (1998);
Parade Magazine Player of the Year (1997);
Ohio Miss Basketball (1996, 1997)
Ohio (Head Coach, 2008-present)
West Virginia (Assistant Coach, 2007-08)
Michigan State (Assistant Coach, 2005-07)
Cleveland State (Assistant Coach, 2002-03)