DULUTH, MN -- Longtime Duluth East boys hockey coach Mike Randolph has finally made public comments since resigning earlier this week.
He thanked many of the people that helped him along the way, and also addressed some of the rationales behind his decision.
Randolph discussed mounting pressure from parents, as well as a lack of support from the administration as factors in his resignation. The following is a full transcript of his address at the Heritage Sports Center.
I want to thank my wife Ginny. She’s been there for me since the beginning. As a player, then a coach. She’s allowed me to chase my passion. Coaching is a demanding passion that took time away from my family. She supported me throughout the journey.
To all the coaches who volunteered time and talent over the years, I’d like to say a huge thank you. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by talented people. Most importantly, loyal people. Current staff – NAMES – as well as those who were with me in the earlier years for a long time – NAMES – and so many others. Thank you. I love you guys.
I want to thank the trainers. Bus drivers. Thanks – NAME. Rink managers. The finest right over there. NAMES. Thank you guys.
I’ve benefitted from the support and the assistance of thousands of parents who coach children. Clear snow off rinks. Doing all that is needed to maintain our youth hockey programs. Thanks to all of them. I want to thank the parents who supported me. There have been so many parents who’ve shared their kids with us. It’s true the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Sadly, there are those that tried to ruin it for others. We all know what’s going on here. Coaches across the state are being run out by parental pressure. Most recent Lakeville South and Brainerd. Now, me. This is getting tiresome. The number of supportive parents always outweighed the others.
To the players -thank you. To the parents – thank you for trusting me with your kids. It’s been nothing but a joy to take these players up and down the road. We traveled more than any other team in the state. More than 18 tournaments without a single incident with one of our players. They represented you with class both on and off the ice. So much fun to coach them. Just as importantly, probably more important, getting to know them as people.
I was able to coach one of my sons for three years. Those were the best three years of coaching. It made it all worth it. He as well as all my kids have made be so proud. Now I’m blessed with five grandkids, all aged 3 and under. It’s a busy a time four our kids.
Hockey has been my life. I was one of seven kids. My first skates were girl’s figure skates. My dad told me if I made the high school team he would buy me hockey skates. Back then Cats (sp?) were it. He had a stroke. My high school coach became a father figure to me. I tried to model that love for my players.
I think hockey is the greatest sport. The best is playing. I was fortunate to play six years beyond high school. The last was with the 76 Olympic team. When that season ended, I recall sitting my wife wondering where we were going to go. I get a call from coach (sp?) who was then the AD at CSS. He told me get into school, come back to Duluth to become an assistant coach for the hockey team. That call changed my life. I accepted and we headed to the next chapter in our lives. I stayed at CSS for three years. I coached three years at UMD. Then high school for 36 years. 2 at Denfeld. 2 at Duluth Cathedral and 32 years at Duluth East.
Up until recently it’s been rewarding and fun. When negatives begin to outweigh the positives, it begins to be exhausting. No longer worth the time I put into it. I’ve given my all. Each and every year. But, without administrative support, it’s a losing battle. That is tiring and takes the joy out of it. My great memories and relationships with parents and players remain
I don’t want to focus on the negative. I want to focus on the positive relationships with players, parents and the great experiences we’ve shared together over the last 36 years.