have been a captain of industry, commanding boardrooms. He might
have owned his own business, overseeing an empire. He could have
contributed to any number of successful endeavors; yet, Harley J.
Redin ('42, '50 M.S.) chose to be a coach, ruling over a basketball
court. His reign was impressive. His innovations changed the rules
and energized the game.
from North Texas in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
Then after serving as a bomber pilot in World War II, he returned
to North Texas to complete a master's degree in physical education.
His education, experience and natural leadership abilities helped
to propel him into the spotlight as one of the nation's all-time
greatest women's basketball coaches.
experiences and a fervor to reform the game were Redin's winning
combination. During 18 years (1955-1973) of coaching the Wayland
Baptist College Flying Queens in Plainview, Texas, he amassed a
431-66 record, two undefeated seasons, six national Amateur Athletic
Union championships, seven runner-up appearances in the national
championship game and a 76-game winning streak.
recognized in Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 greatest
sports figures from Texas. The Flying Queens' coach was honored
in the December 1999 issue along with such well-known sports figures
as Ben Hogan, Nolan Ryan and Tom Landry. He had the distinction
of being the only basketball coach on the list.
Redin is one of the most important figures in the history of women's
basketball," says Marsha Sharp, one of Redin's former Flying Queens
players, who is in the midst of a successful career as coach of
women's basketball at Texas Tech University.
many female basketball players who enjoy great opportunities and
a more exciting game because of his vision of what the sport should
be," she says.
up the pace
can thank Redin for the entertaining, up-beat game that is women's
basketball of today. Redin explains that when he began coaching,
the rules of the women's game were restrictive and the game was
sluggish. Instead of playing a full-court game, women were confined
to half courts. He influenced generations of basketball players
and coaches across the nation by lobbying to change these rules.
His mission was to get women in the United States to play by the
international rules of the women's game.
my early years of coaching, women outside the United States played
by the same rules as the men," says Redin. "It was difficult for
our players to play one way at home and another way in international
on the U.S. Olympic National Women's Basketball committee and the
AAU rules committee, Redin used his influence to change the rules
from three dribbles (on a half court) to an unlimited dribble; from
a no-time-limit shoot to a 30-second limit; and from a six-player
game with a roving player to a traditional five-player, full-court
game. He was also among the first to use the full-court defensive
press and a fast-breaking offense.
was Redin instrumental in changing the rules, he also had a great
influence on his players. By opening the door for high-quality women's
competition, he played a major role in increasing scholarship opportunities.
Harley is most proud of is the fact that he helped so many women
attend college and become successful," says Alice "Cookie" Barron,
another former Flying Queens player. "I would have never gone to
college without the Wayland scholarship that he provided."
Queens coach impressed upon his teams the advantage of an even-tempered
approach. As a former women's high school basketball coach, Barron
understands the importance of Redin's example of fairness and sportsmanship.
was based on skill, which was part of the honor factor," says Barron.
"If you got beat, it was because the other team's skills were better
— no excuses and no one to
able to realize his own vision to provide the opportunity for more
women to play a competitive game. He says the most inspiring part
of his career was "getting to coach all of those great athletes."
outstanding achievements in women's basketball, Redin was inducted
into the first class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville,
Tenn., in 1999. Nan Elrod, director of programs at the hall of fame,
says, "Harley Redin was selected because he truly made a mark on