Just as one would give back a disappointing novel from the library, Ohio Athletics decided not to renew the contract of former Ohio women’s basketball coach Semeka Randall.
The decision did not come as a surprise, as Randall posted a 6-23 record in the final year of a five-year tenure that was stocked with struggle.
After the decision not to renew Randall’s contract was made by Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus, members of the team tweeted from private accounts disparaging declarations of relief from the former coach’s reins.
It was clear that at least a few Bobcats were extremely unhappy under Randall.
Her career record of 50-103 overall and 22-58 in the MAC prompted Schaus to announce that it was “time to move the program in a different direction.”
A national search for a new coach will begin immediately, much to the aforementioned players’ delight.
There is an age-old understanding that unhappy athletes perform poorly, and that, mixed with injuries and a lack of depth, culminated in a terrible season for the 2012–13 Bobcats.
“You have to work hard, you have to want to do it. It has to come from within, it can’t be anything that you make an excuse about,” Randall said after a weekday practice leading up to Ohio’s Feb. 28 game at Akron. “You have to be pissed off or frustrated that (opponents are) trying to score on you.”
Randall’s work ethic was hardly, if ever, questioned. She didn’t make excuses. She did “want to do it,” and she had done it as a player, winning a national title in 1998 under Pat Summit at Tennessee.
Yet, she struggled mightily to succeed as Ohio’s coach. Now, it appears that some of her players were indeed “pissed off” during her tenure, just not in the way that Randall had hoped.
Injuries to junior guard Shavon Robinson and sophomore guard Mariah Byard at the beginning of MAC play were deflating. Freshman guard Kiyanna Black might have been relied upon too heavily as her production decreased in the final month of the season.
From Jan. 5 to Feb. 3, Black was averaging 13.5 points per game in nine contests during that span. In the final nine games of the season, Black averaged a mere 4.4 points per game. Her decline in production and reliability, heaped on top of many other problems, resulted in Randall’s fifth and final season in Athens.
For now, the Ohio women’s basketball team will remain coachless, but a search is underway for a new author to a hopeful best-seller after years of sitting on the shelf.