At Randolph’s Upper School Award Program two weeks ago, Dylan Bunnell won the Honor the Game Coaching Award as voted on by his coaching peers. This week, Coach Bunnell was awarded the chance to pursue his dream to coach college basketball.
Bunnell will be the new assistant basketball coach at Roane State Community College where he will coach under RSCC head men’s basketball coach and Director of Athletics, Randy Nesbit. Nesbit has been the head coach for 27 years after playing and coaching at the Citadel where he is a member of their Hall of Fame. RSCC has a strong reputation for developing both players and coaches to the highest levels of college basketball and beyond.
After coaching basketball and football previously at Lexington High School and then Hartselle High School, Coach Bunnell joined the Randolph School coaching basketball and football staffs in 2016. On the gridiron, Bunnell started strong as the middle school head coach and varsity assistant of football year one, worked primarily as a varsity assistant in year two before taking over as offensive coordinator this past fall where the Raiders broke the school’s single season scoring record.
As good as Bunnell was coaching football, his real passion is on the hardwood. After an impressive first year as head coach of Randolph boys’ basketball middle school teams, Bunnell took over as the varsity head coach for two years resulting in a heightened level of commitment from student-athletes as well as a return to the postseason this past year.
Coach Bunnell met with his varsity and JV teams earlier this morning to inform them about his departure.
“I will never be able to truly express how fortunate I am that I got the opportunity to be a Randolph Raider,” shared Bunnell. “My three years spent at Randolph were the most rewarding, enjoyable professional experience I’ve had to date. I’m beyond thankful to Jay Rainey, Linda Bryant, Jerry Beckman, and especially Blake Davenport for allowing me to attach my name to this incredible academic institution, as well as trusting me to guide the Randolph Boys Basketball program the past two seasons. Thank you, as well, to Wright Ward, Pat Lewallen, Lawrence Pippins, Kip Owens, Troy Saxton, and David Garrison for assisting me and teaching me more than I could have ever taught you. As I’ve shared with our guys, the fact that I’m able to accomplish a life-long dream of coaching college basketball is really a compliment to them. Without the 13 seniors that have graduated from our program the past two seasons and all of their teammates, I would not have the opportunity to make what was a difficult decision. I’m extremely excited about the future of Randolph Basketball and stand by what I have said before that Randolph will win a state championship in basketball. My only hopes are that I can continue to develop relationships I established here with our players and families, and that I left the program better than I found it. Thank you all for allowing me to be a small part of your journey over the past three years!”
Randolph School Athletics Director Blake Davenport said, “It’s always exciting to see a coach take the next step towards their dream. That typically means they have done a good job for us even if we had hoped they would be here a little longer. It truly is bittersweet to see Coach Bunnell take this next step, but he’s achieved this opportunity using the same principles of commitment and sacrifice we teach to our students as they pursue their dreams and aspirations.”
“It’s not by accident that Randolph athletics has experienced some of its best years in school history while Dylan was coaching here,” continued Davenport. “We will all miss him greatly, but he will always be a Raider and appreciated for all he has done to ‘Raise the R’ here at Randolph.”
Randolph School will soon have an update regarding the leadership of the boys’ basketball program.