Washington boss picks up 100th winSchrader spreads 30-year career over 6 different programs
The Washington football head coach is as humble and low-key as it gets. He’s got a blue-collar mentality that has served him well in 30 years of coaching. So much to the point that his players have little inkling of his accomplishments as a coach.
For instance, Randy Schrader knew all along that he needed five wins this season to reach 100 for his career. He kept mostly everyone on the team in the dark for this one.
“My understanding is that it was his 100th victory, but no one had a clue,” said senior Tanner Knupp. “I didn’t know until Sunday. He is the kind of guy that is going to keep that to himself. I’m sure half the team still doesn’t know.”
If Knupp, a player who has started varsity during three of Schrader’s four years at Washington, didn’t have prior knowledge of the win — none of the players did.
Schrader was more concerned about his team taking care of Williamsburg to take firm control of first place in the district.
“Coach Schrader is a good guy,” Knupp said. “He will harp on you. After Friday night’s game — he is not a coach that said this is on me — he didn’t go home and celebrate; he gave everyone a hug and congratulated everyone.”
With almost a week to let his 100th win settle, Schrader talked openly about it and expressed gratitude.
“You win 100 games, because you coach great kids,” Schrader said. “You have great coaches to work with. It had nothing to do with what I have done. I went into a lot of programs that weren’t very good when I got there. We were able to turn most of them around.”
His first coaching job was at Dow City-Arion for one season, Clarinda for five years, North Scott nine years for his longest stint, three at Davenport West and four each at Rockford College and Washington.
“It’s not about me; I feel great to do it,” Schrader said. “It is a milestone that every coach that gets in the business shoots for.”
In his first three seasons with the Demons, he has increased his win total every year from 3-6 to 5-5 to 7-4. This season he is off to his best start at the school and needs three wins to top last year’s total, just six games into the season.
“(At) 5-1 (this) is our best start, but we want to have our best finish,” Schrader said “There is one stat that matters and that is at the end of the year.”
Still fresh on Knupp’s mind is how hard Schrader pushed his players in the first two weeks of the preseason last year.
“I had probably 15-20 people come up to football players and ask if everything was OK,” Knupp said. “Coach Schrader probably lost three years of his life because he was yelling and harping so much.”
There wasn’t one win or one season that Schrader, the dean of students, is most proud of, but rather the relationships he developed with his players. The Clarinda program is now coached by his former player Mark Schilb.
The variety of professionals stretches far beyond the football field.
“The success these kids have had,” Schrader said. “Some of them are dads, doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, coaches and farmers. There were hundreds of kids we had the chance to work with.”
He has seen the ups and the downs of the coaching ranks as a state semifinalist and as the coach of a winless team.
“You probably coach the hardest and do your best as a coach when you are not having those winning seasons,” Schrader said. “The talent might not be there or an injury comes up.”
His wife, Denise, has been by his side for the past three decades.
“I have a great wife; I’m married to the quintessential coach’s wife,” Schrader said.
Denise said her husband still gets e-mails from players from 15-20 years ago.
“Most of it is about life skills and discipline about being on time, respectful, humble and discipline around hard work,” Denise said.
These are all principles that Schrader instilled in high school kids who have grown into men.
Schrader’s tone says it all — his family and players mean more to him than the number of wins.