Former Lady Vol ‘Meek’ Randall taking over Winthrop program

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Tennessee’s Semeka Randall shoots during the first half of the NCAA East Regional game Saturday, March 13, 1999, in Knoxville, Tenn. Randall was injured in the second half and is listed as doubtful for Monday’s game against Boston College. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Former Lady Vol Semeka Randall Lay, one of the famed “Three Meeks” of the 1998 NCAA championship team, is taking the lead whistle full time for the Winthrop women’s basketball team.

The Rock Hill, South Carolina, university made the announcement Friday that Lay will be the 17th head coach in the program’s history.

“Semeka has worked so hard to keep this team together and focused through this very difficult year,” Halpin said. “She has helped them take necessary steps forward and we’re excited to permanently name her head coach and support this continued growth for our women’s basketball program.”

Randall Lay spent the 2019-20 season as the associate head coach for the Eagles before taking over the helm in an interim role prior. The Cleveland, Ohio, native was also head coach at Ohio University for five seasons and three seasons at Alabama A&M prior to joining the Winthrop staff.

“I’m truly grateful to interim President Dr. George Hynd and Dr. Ken Halpin for entrusting me to lead the Winthrop women’s basketball program into the future,” Lay said. “I look forward to working with student-athletes to build strong, competitive teams that will win in the classroom and on the court.”

Randall Lay was a standout at the University of Tennessee under legendary coach Pat Summit. She along with Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings became the “Three Meeks” creating one of the most prolific trio in Lady Vols’ history. During her playing career with the Lady Vols she was a three-time All-America selection and finished her career with 1,915 points, 286 steals, and 236 assists.

“I am very excited about Semeka Randall being named the next head women’s basketball coach at Winthrop University.  I’ve had the pleasure of not only coaching Semeka at the University of Tennessee (’98-’03), but watching her grow and succeed in the coaching profession. 

“Not only was she instrumental in Tennessee winning the 1998 NCAA Championship, she comes to Winthrop with a loaded resume, full of valuable coaching experience.  She knows how to lead and develop young women, and will build a very competitive program there at Winthrop.”

Mickie DeMoss, former Tennessee Lady Vols assistant coach

Following her collegiate career at Tennessee, Randall Lay was the 17th overall pick of the 2001 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm. She played in the WNBA for four seasons with Seattle, Utah and San Antonio before pursuing a career in coaching.

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