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Florida HS Coach Fired After Winning School's 4th State Title

Miami Herald

Two seasons of unrest between Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) five-time state champion basketball coach Melvin Randall and the Ely administration reached a boiling point on Friday morning with Randall being released of his coaching duties.

Randall, who led Ely to its fourth state title overall last March, confirmed in a phone interview that he was informed of his dismissal in a 10:30 a.m. meeting with Ely assistant principal Malcolm Spence (Ely administrator over sports) and assistant principal Antonio Womack.

“The meeting was short, harsh and without an explanation as to why,” Randall said. “All they told me is that they are moving in a different direction [with the] boys’ basketball coach. Mr. Spence said to leave the gym key on the desk and “you have some orange uniforms and some shooting shirts, and I need them by Monday.”

Spence, whose phone went to voicemail Friday, could not be reached for comment.

Even if Randall doesn’t coach again, he has first ballot Hall of Fame credentials. Randall (458-136) led Deerfield Beach to state titles in 1997 and 1999 before bringing his no-nonsense, high-pressure defense coaching style to Ely in 2002 and subsequently leading Ely to its best run in boys’ basketball.

Randall went 226-79 at Ely and brought the Tigers its second state title with former Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton Jr. the driving force in 2006-07.


Coach Fired
Posted from: Ray Edwards, 6/18/13 at 5:57 AM CDT
A quick check reveals that this is a troubled administration. The principal has been the center of controversy because he outed a gay student and falsely accused teachers of actions. The coach was almost not hired last year and had 2 assistants fired during the season. After winning the championship, he criticized the administration in the press. Seems like a case of a coach being fed up with a heavy handed administration. I can relate.
Who, what, when, where, why, please.
Posted from: ATF, 6/17/13 at 7:17 AM CDT
I'm sorry, but running articles like this is more frustrating than informative. Giving the barest of factual essentials and providing zero meaningful background info really tells the reader nothing. This is like writing an article about Pres. Nixon's resignation and not addressing Watergate. Coaches don't just get fired out of the blue after winning a fourth state championship. By not providing context or history, you leave the reader no choice but to speculate. It's so annoying.
Posted from: Booster, 6/16/13 at 7:57 PM CDT
No, Coach Randall violated no policies. Coach Randall has a 100% graduation rate. There was an incident in Maryland, that the pricipal violated school board policy. Coach Randall and a staff member was asked to give statements to the Internal Security of the School Board. When they would not lie about what actaully took place during the team's trip to Maryland, the principal retaliated. You can google Karlton O Johnson on the internet and see that he has been under fire for several incidents. Coach Randall runs his team with integrity as well as his classroom. He produces top FCAT scores in math.
bad admin
Posted from: Willie, 6/12/13 at 8:26 PM CDT
unless the coach was having issues, like thinking he was above others and neglected other duties, then seems unfair,, other thing how does a HS go to a different philosophy, what you trying to loose, now, winning boost morale, gives kids things to cheer abt and brag abt their school. hello school pride. so unless his players are not graduating, and going to college, this seems to be just wrong. and sure they will do ok for a yr or 2 after then unless next guy is fruit off the tree they will start loosing.
hard deal
Posted from: Omar Louis, 6/11/13 at 9:28 AM CDT
I don't wish that on anyone. I am not going to speculate because I don't know the facts. I wish Coach Randall well and I wish all the best for his players.
Coach Randall dismissal
Posted from: Jack Patton, 6/11/13 at 8:14 AM CDT
I guess the question is why? Were there violations of policy, abuse, etc. or simply a matter of a difference in philosophy whatever that may mean?
Be coachable
Posted from: coacht18, 6/11/13 at 6:36 AM CDT
In this day and age, it is especially sad to hear or see a Coach at odds w/ one's Administration/Authority. That which we ask for and even demand from our players; be coachable; we can't seem to exemplify before them to our Bosses. Now, idk the whole story, of course, but as long as the coach wasn't being told to do things: illegal, immoral, unethical, unsafe, or against one's conscience, shouldn't he make his Bosses job a joy by complying w/ a right attitude? Making respectful appeals if in disagreement is what I teach my young men... Treat me as you'd wish to be treated. Well, like I said, idk the whole story. It is sad. Winning isn't everything, is it? Pray both sides learn from this and that it doesn't damage the young people along the way. BTW, I was let go in a similar fashion after my first coaching job... it hurts, but I respectfully made my appeals but to no avail. Thus, I honored my authority and moved on... to a better situation, thankfully.

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