Archie Randall named new wrestling coach at OCU

By Rich Tortorelli | Jan. 30, 2006, 2:42 p.m. (ET)
OKLAHOMA CITY - Archie Randall, who turned El Reno High School into a perennial state champion and has been called an elite coach on the national level, has been named the first wrestling coach at Oklahoma City University.

This past spring, Randall guided El Reno to its 10th consecutive team tournament championship and its 10th dual state championship in a row. Randall, who has coached wrestling for 26 years, went 232-16 in duals in 13 years at El Reno. El Reno is 22-3 this season.

OCU recently announced the addition of wrestling to compete in 2006-07. The Stars have 26 NAIA national championships in other sports.

"Archie has impressed me with his enthusiasm and energy for the sport of wrestling," OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said. "I'm confident that he can utilize those traits to build a championship team from scratch."

Abbott said that he fielded several calls recommending Randall as OCU coach. Randall, also the assistant athletic director at El Reno, plans to finish the current high-school wrestling season before assuming his duties at OCU.

"This is one of the most exciting things to happen in my career," Randall said. "I have an opportunity to go to a school that has never had wrestling and get to establish a new program. I believe we will get wrestlers headed here."

Randall said the support is in place to be competitive.

"The academic reputation of the university makes it attractive to the best wrestlers in the region," Randall said. "With our administration, how can we not be successful?"

Randall coached 40 wrestlers who went on to the college ranks. Randall has coached 49 state champions, 48 state tournament placers, 20 all-staters and one four-time state champion.

In 2005, El Reno outscored Duncan 157-102.5 for the Class 4A title and had three individual champions. At dual state, El Reno defeated Lawton MacArthur 40-20. Randall's teams have won 65 tournament championships, 11 regional crowns, 12 Suburban Conference championships and 13 district titles. In the classroom, El Reno was academic state champion in 1998 and 1999. Nationally, El Reno has been in the top 25 high-school rankings the past eight years.

Randall is seven-time Oklahoma Coaches Association coach of the year and three-time Oklahoman Big All-City coach of the year. Other coach of the year awards Randall has earned: 2003 National Coaches Association regional coach of the year, 2002 National Federation of Coaches sectional coach of the year, 2002 U.S. Olympic Committee development coach of the year, 2002 USA Wrestling development coach of the year and 1999 Wrestling USA Magazine Dream Team coach and coach of the year.

On the national level, Randall is a member of several USA Wrestling committees. He has been USA National Dual Tournament director 12 times since 1993. Randall has coached several state and regional freestyle and Greco-freestyle junior and cadet teams and won nine junior national dual team tournament championships. In 1987, USAOK's cadet program set a state record with 20 all-American wrestlers in one season under Randall's guidance.

What others are saying about Randall and OCU wrestling:

"I think it's an absolutely wonderful choice. I have a great admiration for Archie Randall. He is a leader of young men and has sent out several wrestlers to the collegiate level. You'll find out very quickly he'll be very competitive. He's got great drive and passion for wrestling. Those are two ingredients that lead to success." - Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith

"Archie Randall is clearly among the most elite wrestling coaches in the country. We'd like to congratulate OCU for attracting such a quality candidate. The program will rise very quickly under his direction. He's an outstanding mentor and coach.

"We are forever grateful for OCU's efforts to establish a new wrestling program. High-school wrestling is now the sixth-most popular high-school boys sport in America. There are only 323 college programs for them to participate in. We need more opportunities at the college level. Wrestling in the Oklahoma region is arguably the best in the country." - Mike Moyer, executive director, National Wrestling Coaches Association

"We're excited about OCU adding wrestling. It'll be the 40th program in five years to be added to our sport. Under the leadership of Archie Randall, we're confident OCU will flourish. He built a dynasty at El Reno. He's one of the most esteemed high-school coaches in the country. He has the gifts, talents and passion to develop a great program." - Oklahoma wrestling coach Jack Spates