Ross Randall Inducted into Kansas Golf Hall of Fame
Ross Randall (left) receives a plaque from
Dan Rooney during the Kansas Golf
Hall of Fame ceremony.LAWRENCE, Kan. – Ross Randall moved to Lawrence, Kansas, from Iowa in 1979 and was part of the University of Kansas men’s golf program for three decades, including 28 years as head coach. On Sunday, Randall was inducted into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2014 by the Kansas Golf Foundation in a full-house ceremony, which included more than 60 of his former players, KU administrators and friends at the Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence.
Randall was joined in the Class of 2014 by Fred Rowland of Leawood, Kansas, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in July at the Champions Dinner preceding the Kansas Amateur at Mission Hills Country Club (July 21-27).
Sunday evening was all Randall as former KU golfer, Major Dan Rooney, emceed an evening of festivities honoring his college coach. Kansas Golf Foundation President Bryan Norton spoke on behalf of the Hall of Fame. He was followed by former KU golfers John Ogden, Roy Edwards, Pete Krsnich and current PGA professional Gary Woodland in honoring Randall’s time at KU. Rooney, the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, then presented Randall with a plaque and KU golf flag autographed by the more than 60 players present.
“Ross has been everything to me,” Woodland said. “He gave me the opportunity to follow my dream. He pushed me every day for four years and now I still talk to him on a weekly basis. He has done unlimited amount of things for KU and the state of Kansas. There’s not a place I go, anywhere, in a tournament, that somebody doesn’t bring up Ross Randall. His impact on golf, as a whole, is untouchable.”
Randall gave credit to his wife, Linda, and said of his time at KU, “I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m most proud of all you players.”
Entering the Hall of Fame in the category of coach, Randall was Kansas’ head men’s golf coach for 28 years, and in May 2007 became KU’s Director of Golf Operations until he retired in June 2009.
“He was the pillar of Kansas golf for three decades,” KU two-time All-American and current professional Chris Thompson said of Randall. “He invested a lot of time in it and was critical for me. He was well connected in the golf community. He was able to get us in good events and get us national exposure. He was tremendous for both the university and me.”
Randall guided seven KU teams to the NCAA Championships and 19 to NCAA Regionals. His 1989 squad was the first Kansas team to reach the NCAA Finals in 32 years. His 1996 team advanced to the final two rounds of the NCAA Championships, the second-best finish in Kansas history.
“Ross is an icon in Lawrence and with the Kansas Golf Association,” current KU head coach Jamie Bermel said. “He won the Big 12 title, coached a lot of guys and tonight’s turnout just shows he did a great job.”
Randall coached five All-Americans during his tenure with the Jayhawks, including three two-time All-American selections: Chris Thompson, Ryan Vermeer and Chris Marshall. He also helped develop 27 all-conference selections including 2007 graduate Gary Woodland, who is competing on the PGA Tour.
In 1999, he took the fifth-seeded Jayhawks into the Big 12 Conference Championship and captured the program’s first league title in 49 years. For his efforts that season, Randall was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
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