Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Former ECU Coach Sonny Randle passes away at 81

Former ECU Coach Sonny Randle passes away at 81

Former Marshall head football coach Sonny Randle has died, the Marshall University Athletic Department confirmed Wednesday morning. He went to Fork Union in his elementary and high school years where he was a renowned track athlete that did not play football until his last year in 1954. He scholarshipped at VMI, but withdrew - enrolled at UVa, walked on, and got scholarshipped. Randle led the ACC in receptions (47), receiving yards (642), kickoff yards (506) and all-purpose yards (1,253) in 1958. He became one of the NFL's most risky receivers over that span, using his speed and reliable hands to earn Pro Bowl honors in 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1965.

In 1960, Randle's 62 receptions were second best in the National Football League, accounting for 893 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, The Sporting News and United Press International. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. He joined Mike McGee's East Carolina staff as wide receivers coach in 1970, but took over as head coach the following season. He led ECU to the Southern Conference championship in 1972 and 1973 and left with a 22-10 record in three seasons.

According to a release, he was one of only two UVA alums dating back to 1922 who was later named the head coach of his alma mater's football team.

Teacher fight caught on camera
The school has since stated those involved have been arrested and are now facing charges of disorderly conduct in a public place. A teacher and a paraprofessional were caught on camera fighting in front of students at Stone Mountain Middle School on Friday.

Following two seasons at the University of Virginia, Randle was the head coach at Marshall from 1979-1983.

Randle also started a career in broadcasting in the 1960s, the first player/radio broadcaster in the NFL.

He retired from broadcasting in 2014, working for WCYK-FM in Charlottesville and WKDW-AM in Staunton, as well as recording a sports minute that was broadcast on 25 stations across the Commonwealth. "Sonny Randle sayin' - [long pause]- sooo long ev-ry buddy".

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