04/09/04 — Tilley returns to WCDS

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Tilley returns to WCDS

By David Williams
Published in Sports on April 9, 2004 2:01 PM

It has taken Randy Tilley 27 years of his basketball coaching career, but he has finally come full circle.

Tilley, a Wayne County native who has run successful basketball programs at Southern Wayne High School and Goldsboro High School, is returning to the school where he began his career -- Wayne Country Day School.

Wayne Country Day principal Eddie Radford announced Thursday that Tilley has agreed to become the school's new basketball coach, athletics director and assistant headmaster. Tilley, who has been coaching and teaching at Mount Olive Middle School since he left Goldsboro High in the spring of 2001, begins his duties on July 1.

Randy Tilley and Eddie Radford

News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

Randy Tilley, left, shakes hands with Wayne Country Day School headmaster Eddie Radford. Tilley has been named the school's new head basketball coach, athletics director and assistant headmaster.

Back in 1984, Tilley guided the Chargers to the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association's state 1-A champinoship, and took the team back to the state 1-A title game in 1985.

As a public school coach, he guided the Saints to several conference title and playoff appearances. At Goldsboro, Tilley's 2001 team reached the state 3-A eastern regional final.

Radford said several candidiates applied for the basketball coaching job, and he had interviewed several of those candidates. But no one had Tilley's qualifications.

"As far as the credentials for basketball, he is above and beyond what I would expect," said Radford. "His knowledge, his rapport with the students, his ability to teach. He brings excitement to the program.

"I told the kids we were getting the best coach possible."

"We're going to step to another level," Tilley said. "Like I have always done at every place I've been, I want to put the program in a position to contend for the state championship. We'll be talking about that as soon as school opens."

Tilley said he was pleased to reunite with Radford, who was his principal at Southern Wayne.

"We've been friends and co-workers for many years," he said. "I'm pleased to get the chance to perster him again."

As assistant headmaster, he is the second-in-command to Radford and is responsible for discipline of students, teacher observation, attendance, school activities and assist in curriculum developement.

"What I think is the most important responsibility as assistant headmaster is to love these kids," Tilley said. "That's what I enjoyed about being here before, being around the kids and watching them grow up from the lower school to graduation."

"He'll be very visible," said Radford. "He won't be sitting in an office. He'll be all over the school, where he can interact with the students."

Tilley will be in charge of the school's entire athletic program.

"I have met briefly with the coaches here, and I have talked with other coaches I have worked with in the past," Tilley said. "I want to support these people and help them to be better in their sports. If we don't have a sports the students want, we'll get a coach to get the sport we want."

He also said he would hire an full-time assistant varsity basetball coach, a JV coach and a 7th/8th grade coach and not split those duties up.

Radford said Tilley's presence as athletic director will provide leadership to the school's athletic department.

"We have great coaches," he said. "They have done a tremendous job, and now we'll be even better next year."

Tilley has met with the team. "They are great-looking guys," he said. "They're hungry, and they had a good season. Some of them I know from clinics."

The first thing Tilley said he will do is to reinstate his basketball camp, which he started at Wayne Country Day and ran for 16 years. The camp will be open to all, not just for Wayne Country Day students. He also said he would take his team to a team camp this summer.

Radford said the school would bring back a weightlifting class to the PE curriculum. He noted that the school has lost several minor sports over the years, and he felt they would be reinstated. Tilley said that creating a golf team and a girls softball team were priorities for him.

Tilley said he will not be recruiting players from public schools.

"I told the team, I don't recruit players. My program does, though," he said. "Don't come here just for basketball. I want student-athletes. I'm very proud of this school's academic record. In my 27 years I have helped 82 kids get a scholarship."

Tilley went on to say that he would want to play the area's public schools.

"If we play a public school, it won't be for recruiting -- it will be for the competition," he said, "We like competition. If Oak Hill calls ... well, not this year or next."