Edgar Randall, a former local star athlete who went on to spend 37 years as a coach, died Thursday, Jan. 24, after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. He was 61.
“I knew him for 25 years, as both a friend and a colleague,” said Richard Onesty, Bruton High School athletic director and coach. “Edgar was a wonderful model for living in general, and the way he lived was a model; (it) was a way everyone could take something from.”
Randall, who was born in 1957 and raised in Williamsburg, was a star basketball player for York High School, where he graduated in 1975. He went on to play basketball for West Virginia State University, where he still holds the season and school records for free throws to this day, and graduated in 1979.
He coached on the collegiate level with Division II West Virginia State University’s men and women, at Williamsburg Christian Academy and Bruton High and, most recently, on the middle school boys and girls level in Williamsburg-James City County schools.
At Hornsby Middle School, where Randall had most recently worked as a health and physical education teacher, his impact on the school and countless students was a significant one, according to Principal Jessica Ellison.
“Whether it be his love for the children, his compassion, or his role as a coach or an educator, Coach Randall was a shining example of not just what a teacher should be, but what a person should be,” said Ellison. “There will never be another Coach Randall, he was that special to the school and the community.”
As much as he was known for his skills on the court, or his work in the school system, Randall was known as a man of profound faith and humility, something that never wavered even when diagnosed with cancer in 2017.
At New Zion Baptist Church, where Randall served as a deacon and a leader of the men’s ministry group, Pastor Robert A. Whitehead Sr. described him as a man who exemplified the Christian values he held dear.
“Edgar lived out his faith daily, he truly set the example of what it meant to be like Christ,” said Whitehead. “He knew how to relate, how to motivate, and how to set the example, and for as long as I had known him, he cared deeply about his family, his church and his community.”
Randall is survived by his wife, Belinda, sons Brandon and Bryan, and four grandchildren.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.