McKelvey Named New Lady Roadrunner Head Coach

Long-time Assistant Played Role in Program’s Biggest Moments


AC Athletics

In searching for its next head coach to fill the vacant seat former Lady Roadrunner head coach Byron Coleman just left behind, Angelina College didn’t have to look too far down the bench.

The seat right next to Coleman was the perfect fit.

AC this week announced that long-time assistant Randy McKelvey now will take on the role as the Lady ‘Runners’ main man – a role for which McKelvey has been preparing for years.

“To God be the Glory,” McKelvey said. “This really came out of nowhere. I didn’t expect it (Coleman’s resignation), especially with the run we had this year. But when he told me about his decision, I told him I was ready, and he agreed.

“From that point, I was already getting into ‘go mode’ in recruiting and building on the success we’ve had together the past 10 years.”

McKelvey and Coleman worked together off-and-on for the past decade going back to when Coleman offered his protégé a position as a volunteer assistant. The tandem combined for some of the Lady Roadrunner basketball program’s biggest moments, including the 2019 conference tournament championship, which led to the program’s first-ever appearance in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. For his efforts, McKelvey was named the 2019 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Assistant Coach of the Year.

McKelvey, a Lufkin native, also was instrumental in recruiting Natasha Mack, who left Angelina College with numerous program records and a status as the only Lady Roadrunner ever drafted into the WNBA.

All that success, according to McKelvey, doesn’t necessarily translate into personal pressure.

 “Honestly, there’s no pressure,” McKelvey said. “I want to keep showing up every day doing the best I can do, and I know Coach Coleman will be close to me. He’s such a good friend, and we’ll be connected forever. I know I’ll be able to ping things off of him as far as my ideas and what he’s seeing, things of that nature.”

As for the differences in their approaches to coaching, McKelvey said there may be a few elements he’ll implement himself, but otherwise, he’s going to go with what he’s learned from sitting next to Coleman.

“So many of the things he taught certainly will be part of what I teach,” McKelvey said. “We’ll definitely work to be a fast-paced team just like we’ve always had, and while there may be a few things I do differently, Byron’s approach has been too successful to ignore.

“The main thing is to make sure our kids come in ready to work hard. We’ve got our motto ready for next year: ‘Work and Win.’”

McKelvey added much of what he learned from his mentor didn’t have anything to do with game strategy.

“The first thing Byron told me way back when I started as a volunteer assistant was that coaching is the easy part,” McKelvey said. “The hard part is managing the student-athletes, which takes up even more of your focus. This was my first coaching job, and from the beginning I saw what he was talking about. I’ve had so many individual conversations with so many kids, and the flexibility Byron gave me to mentor these kids is going to help me take these players where we want to be as a program.”

Mostly, McKelvey said, he wants to continue to focus on the individual player as a whole: From student-athlete to successful member of a community.

“Of course we want to win, but the main goal will always be to get these kids graduated and walking across the stage and letting them take a piece of the Angelina College legacy into their lives,” McKelvey said. “I tell them all this is just a chapter in their books, and I want to do my part in being a positive role model for them in a way that will carry on long after they leave school.”

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Photo captions:

Randy McKelvey:

Randy McKelvey addresses the crowd during Wednesday’s ceremony at Angelina College. AC this week named McKelvey, a long-time assistant to Byron Coleman, the new head coach of the Lady Roadrunner basketball program. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)

Randy McKelvey and Byron Coleman:

Angelina College’s Randy McKelvey (right) celebrates with Byron Coleman following the Lady Roadrunners’ 2019 Region XIV Conference Tournament win in Shreveport. McKelvey this week was named head coach of the Lady ‘Runner program. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)