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Randleman’s Brandon Varner coaches his team against Eastern Randolph on Feb. 17.  Eric Abernethy / Randolph Hub

Tigers’ girls coach resigns

RANDLEMAN — Being the head coach of an incredibly successful high school varsity basketball team means plenty of late nights, not only during the season but at various times throughout the year as well. 


When that coach is also a middle school athletic director, which means even more hours away from home, it can get very tiresome. 


When that’s the situation, something has to change and Randleman High School’s Brandon Varner is making that change.


After five stellar seasons as head coach of the RHS girls varsity basketball team, Varner has resigned his position in order to spend more time at home. 


“When you want to be competitive and you want to have a program year in and year out competing for conference championships, you have to work for it and that's what we did,” Varner said. “You are spending pretty much 11 months practicing basketball. It turned into a lot of long nights and long seasons with my duties as AD at the middle school. It just got to be a lot of work from here to there. I am going to recharge my batteries a little and see what happens.”

RMS boys coach Steve Rightmeyer was named to replace Varner.


Varner would often have to set things up at the middle school for a sporting event, head to the high school for practice or a game and then head back to the middle school to clean up and get ready for the next day’s activities. 


His duties at RMS also includes picking up concession stand items, finding announcers for the various sports and driving some teams to away games.


“Most nights during the season, we would have late practice and that means getting home at 7:30-8 p.m.,” Varner said. “Then there were nights I would have to go back to the middle school and start laundry.”


Varner took the program over after the Tigers finished 3-9 in the conference and 3-19 overall in the 2017-18 season. In his first year at the helm, the Tigers improved to 10-2 in the conference and 15-10 overall. In the 2019-20 season, RHS finished 12-0 and 24-3 followed by a year in which the Tigers were 10-2 and 12-4 in the pandemic-shortened season. 


Randleman was 12-0 and 25-1 in the 2021-22 season and in this past campaign, his final as head coach, Varner led the Tigers to another perfect 12-0 conference record and 27-2 overall mark. Varner finished his five-year head coaching career at RHS with an outstanding 56-4 record in conference play and 103-20 overall record.


“I have been fortunate to have some really good kids, not only basketball players but really good kids who get along well together and were fun to be around,” Varner said. “I am so proud of what the girls were able to accomplish and how hard they worked.”


Varner is hardly leaving the cupboard bare. The Tigers have two all-conference varsity players returning and the middle school team won the championship.


Varner said there have been plenty of memories made along the way..


“My first year against High Point Andrews, we hit a shot from the volleyball line and won a game and the playoff game against Kinston where we filled both sides of the gym with fans,” Varner said of some of his fondest memories. “I told the girls we were going to get this program so that the gym was full of people to see them play. Winning the Christmas tournament and the conference tournaments will be special. It has been a lot of fun and the girls have worked awfully hard.”


And he’s worked awfully hard for them.