Tickel your Fancy: A lasting legacy
He will go down as a legend in the history of Washington football.
He led a team, that failed to make the playoffs four years ago, to competing for a state title.
Head coach Randy Schrader was an integral part of the team’s record-breaking year, which makes his official retirement announcement Friday after coaching for 26 years at six different schools, that much more unbearable.
He leaves behind a team that loses 16 seniors, but his lasting legacy will surely carry over with this football program.
Senior Tanner Knupp expressed his gratitude for the four years spent with his boss.
“(Shoutout) to coach Schrader for putting in 30 solid years of coaching,” Knupp said on Twitter. “Glad we sent you out on a state championship appearance.”
Prior to this season, the furthest Schrader had advanced was the state semifinals. Washington won a school-record 11-straight games along the way and finished with a program-best 12 wins.
Senior Brett Wright said Schrader gave so much to the football program and the community. He said he was glad to go out with him.
With his fifth win this season he picked up his 100 career win. Prior to this season Washington hadn’t made an appearance at state since 1997, the school’s lone state berth.
Schrader went 27-17 at Washington with an increased win total each season from 3-6 to 5-5 to 7-4 to 12-2. The last three seasons Washington made the postseason.
I remember sitting down with him before the season to discuss the upcoming season, and I knew then that this year was going to be special.
I questioned him repeatedly whether his team would open up with the passing game. He stuck to his guns and his run to the title game on the strength of his running backs ultimately proved me wrong.
Schrader may have caught people outside of the program by surprise with his resignation, but it wasn’t a shocker to me or his players.
Ahead of the championship game senior Garrett Covington hinted that Schrader was probably going to be on the sideline for his last game.
“You can see it in him, hear it in him and feel it in him,” Covington said. “This is probably his last. He is coming to an end.”
He hinted that he was hoping he could go out on top this season, and that all that was left before he called it quits was IPERS going through.
He told me early in the season that stepping down from Rockford College to coach at Washington was a move toward retirement.
Ultimately he finishes with a 90-121 record on the prep level due in large part to spreading his career over five schools.
Bravo, coach Schrader — you were the first football coach that I got to work with out of college. I have a feeling that no matter how many coaches I go through, they will all pale in comparison to you.