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Tracy DeGraaff Named New Randolph Girls’ Basketball Head Coach

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We are delighted to announce Tracy DeGraaff will serve as head coach of Randolph Girls’ Basketball.Tracy

The search brought resumes from far and wide, but the clear choice to take over the Randolph Girls’ Basketball program was a resume with “Varsity Head Coach, Randolph School” listed under experience. Tracy DeGraaff (formerly Tracy Brookman) was not only the varsity head coach here at Randolph for a six year tenure as well as the middle school head coach for two, but also has two additional years of varsity head coaching experience at St. John Paul II Catholic High School.

When asked “Why Randolph?” DeGraaff replied, “Because I believe in the kids here at Randolph.  I have always believed one can have excellence in the classroom as well as in athletics. It may not always look like a 4.0 GPA and a triple-double, but seeing a student-athlete give their best possible effort is always worth it.  Also because of the tremendous athletic, administrative, and parental support.”

The 2017-2018 season will be DeGraaff’s 20th year overall coaching girls basketball which includes coaching various ages as well as founding the Southern Starz Basketball organization where she coached multiple teams from 2000-2003. Tracy was also a four-year varsity assistant coach for coaching legend Ronnie Stapler, winner of three state titles and 688 total high school wins.

Tracy isn’t starting this tenure as varsity head coach from scratch. She has already made a tremendous impact on the Randolph program since her return to Randolph two years ago as the head coach of the middle school team. Her team showed tremendous improvement from year one to year two while creating a buzz that has everyone excited. Combining that experience with spending the same two years on the varsity staff gives DeGraaff a clear picture of where the program currently is, what it will take to move it forward and already possesses strong relationships with the players that will get it there.

DeGraaff is excited about the girls in the program, “We have a great group of girls. Our upperclassmen have truly embraced our younger players.  Our seniors have been encouraging and helping them feel a part of the team.  The rising 9th grade players came into the varsity picture late in the season last year and provided a welcoming challenge for the older girls.  Our rising sophomores have been our steady ship.  They play hard and never quit.”

Athletic Director Blake Davenport is thrilled to know what he has in Coach DeGraaff. “Tracy has done a great job in the two years that I’ve seen her coach here. She has a great way of pushing her girls while gaining more and more trust from them in the process. I can’t wait to see the same energy and passion for the game she has developed on the middle school team spread throughout the whole program from varsity to RAP,” says Davenport.

DeGraaff isn’t just focused the varsity team, “The best programs are those which are sustainable over time.  To achieve that, our program needs a consistent and repetitive system that breeds excellence year after year.  And it must start with our youngest participants. Giving them the best start is keeping the game as real as possible.  Basketball is a fast-paced, and, at times, chaotic sport.  The earlier our kids play in that environment, the earlier their fear of failure diminishes and the better decision makers they become in the future. Then when their skill set catches up with their mind set, their experience gets richer.  It may take a few years to create that environment but once established it’s hard to beat a strong tradition.”

DeGraaff played at Moore County High School in Lynchburg, Tennessee where she helped lead her team to a District Championship.  She also played two years of college ball at Motlow State Community College where her team finished ranked 2nd in the nation (NJCAA) in 1989-90.

Tracy is married to Dr. Scott DeGraaff who is an Anesthesiologist here in Huntsville and they have five children between them. Connor (20), is on Track Team at Troy University. Alicia (18), is headed to Auburn in the fall. Aaron (16), attends St. John Paul II Catholic HS. Ben (14), attends Huntsville Junior High and plays football, basketball, and track. Hannah (13) attends Holy Spirit Catholic School and participates in competition cheerleading with Matrix.

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