Coach Edgar Randall. A really good man recently passed away. And, now I join many in reflecting. I have had the great privilege of knowing Coach for 25 or so years. Known to many as beloved Coach Randall, he loved the Lord Jesus Christ and faithfully lived out the picture of a godly servant leader who invested himself in the lives of others to share the gospel of grace and to bring glory to God. He radiated the Good Shepherd in everything he did!
There is an account of God’s servant leader David in I and II Samuel. You will see that Coach Randall was much like David. I especially love II Samuel 7:8,9 which says, “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Almighty says: I took you from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.’ ”
Similarly, God took Edgar as a young athlete in Williamsburg to become a servant in the Kingdom of God and to bring godly influence to many many people. A community celebrated well his life on Friday, February 1st. Although Coach Randall had many earthly claims to fame, he is mostly highly regarded because of his servant leadership qualities: kindness, encouragement, faithfulness, excellence, joy (tremendous joy!), godly counsel, helpfulness, availability, generosity, love, friendship, care, concern, and love. He was all about serving God cheerfully and pouring out his life for others.
If you study the life of David, you will draw some similarities. If you study the life of Jesus, you will see even more similarities. Micah 5:2 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.’ ” Matthew 2:5,6 ” ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem , in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ”
These scriptures picture the Shepherd King – Jesus Christ. So many parallels can be shown in studying the life of David, the man after God’s own heart, and the life of our Messiah. Godly leadership is characterized by shepherding. Ruling and shepherding are not necessarily antithetical. They are an influential mixture of leading and loving. Much like the life roles played by Coach Randall.
Coach Randall’s style was influential shepherding. He was a gentle giant who nurtured young students and athletes to aspire to things of eternal value. Excellence in athletics was certainly one of those high values. His manner was always engaging. He was very approachable and inviting. But, he also had a great vision for students and held them to a high standard. They knew they were loved! They knew they had to work hard. They knew he would teach them to always take the high road of honesty, integrity, and compassion. They knew it was all because Coach Randall loved Jesus and did everything because of Christ’s call on his life to serve others.
John 10:14-15 ” ‘I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ ”
This was Coach Randall’s legacy – the shepherd approach. He laid down his life in service to His Lord.