Randall-Lay Added to Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff

First-year University of Cincinnati women’s basketball head coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced Thursday the addition of assistant coach Semeka Randall-Lay to her staff.

“Semeka has experienced success at the highest level during her playing career at both the University of Tennessee and in the WNBA,” said Clark-Heard. “Her experiences as a player will allow her to be an invaluable asset to our team here at UC.”

Equipped with eight years of NCAA Division I head coaching experience and multiple stops as an assistant, Randall-Lay comes to UC after spending the past two seasons in an assistant role at Wright State.

While at WSU, she helped guide the Raiders to back-to-back seasons of 23 wins or more as well as two trips to the Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).

Previously, as head coach at Alabama A&M from 2013-16, Randall-Lay aided in the development of guard Brittney Strickland who was named Second Team All-Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 2015.

Before taking over in Huntsville, Alabama, she was the head coach at Ohio from 2008-13. Under her guidance, several players received All-Mid-American Conference (MAC) honors. Randall-Lay was also an assistant coach at West Virginia from 2007-08, at Michigan State from 2005-07 and at Cleveland State from 2002-03. During her tenure in East Lansing, Michigan, the Spartans played for the National Championship in 2005, advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006, and made it to the NCAA second round in 2007.

A standout guard at Tennessee from 1998-2001, Randall-Lay earned Kodak All-America First Team honors in 1999 and 2000. She was an integral part of Tennessee’s 1998 NCAA Championship team that went 39-0, averaging 15.9 points a game while earning honorable mention All-America recognition.

In addition to her All-America honors, she was named the Women’s Basketball Journal’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000, First Team All-Southeast­ern Conference in 1999 and 2000, Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team in 1998, and was on the NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament team in 1998 and 2000.

Randall-Lay scored 1,915 points during her career at Tennessee (13.7 ppg) and added 716 rebounds (5.1 rpg), 286 steals and 236 assists. She ranks seventh on the Lady Vols’ career charts in points, sixth in steals, and fifth in free throws made (439). Tennessee posted a record of 134-10 during her four-year career, including championship appearances in 1998 and 2000. During the summer of 1998, Randall-Lay was the leading scorer for the gold medal-winning USA Jones Cup team.

Randall-Lay was the first player chosen in the second round (17th overall) of the 2001 WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm. She started 30 of 32 games as a rookie, averaging a career-best 9.4 points. She averaged 5.8 points during her 123-game WNBA career, including 55 starts.

In 2001-02, Randall-Lay started all 16 games at point guard and averaged 19 points while playing for the Israeli Professional Basketball League. She played in the Greek Professional Basketball League in 2002-03, again starting all 16 games for her squad. In 2003, she was a member of the Tennessee Fury of the National Women’s Basketball League, averaging 12.2 points as a shooting guard.

In 2004, she completed her four-year WNBA career which included stops in Seattle (2001-02), Utah (2002) and San Antonio (2003-04).

Prior to her exemplary playing career at Tennessee and in the professional ranks, Randall-Lay was an accomplished basketball player in high school. She was Parade Magazine’s Player of the Year and a First Team All-American in 1997 while starring at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights, Ohio. She was Ohio’s Miss Basketball in 1996 and 1997, a member of the 1996 and 1997 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Teams, the MVP of the Ohio state basketball tournament in 1994 and 1996 and the Gatorade Circle of Champions Midwest Player of the Year in 1997. She was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame on May 17, 2008.

Randall-Lay graduated from Tennessee in December 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications.


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