WBU saddened by passing of Harley Redin

WBU saddened by passing of Harley Redin
Wayland Baptist University is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its most legendary figures and one of the most influential individuals in the history of women's basketball, Harley J. Redin. (Source: Wayland Baptist University)

Provided by Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its most legendary figures and one of the most influential individuals in the history of women's basketball, Harley J. Redin.

A man whose countless contributions to Wayland Baptist University, the Flying Queens and the sport of women's basketball will forever be remembered, Coach Redin passed away peacefully in Plainview on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. He was 100 years old, less than a month from his 101st birthday on Aug. 29.

"Today we mourn the loss of a World War II hero, a major influence in the development of women's basketball around the globe, and an impactful advocate for opportunities for women in America," WBU President Dr. Bobby Hall said. "Harley was a remarkably successful coach at Wayland and a true friend. His record of coaching success is in many ways unmatched, and his accomplishments are immortalized along with those of many of his teams in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Harley's influence on the game is appreciated worldwide and his impact on Wayland will be felt forever.

"Our love and condolences go out to his wife Wilda and their sons Van and Kenny Redin, and Mike Hutcherson and his wife Suzy."

A private graveside service is planned. The family will plan a memorial service at a later date.

Harley was born in Silverton, Texas, to Alvin and Winnie Redin and graduated from high school there in 1936. He received an Associate in Arts degree from Tarleton Junior College in 1939, playing basketball there during an era when the team won 88 consecutive games. He received his undergraduate degree from North Texas State University in 1942 and his master's in 1946 after a military career for the U.S. Marines in which he flew 38 bombing missions in the South Pacific during World War II.

Hired as athletic director and men's basketball coach to revive the sport at Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, he coached the Pioneers for eight years with a record of 151-88 and three appearances in the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.

Redin later coached the Wayland Flying Queens to 76 of their still national-record 131 consecutive wins that ranged from the first game of the 1953-54 season through the semifinals of the National Amateur Athletic Union Tournament semifinals in the 1957-58 campaign. Those teams were named Trailblazers of the Game by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

From 1955-73, Redin directed the Queens to a 437-68 record (his first two teams were unbeaten) with six national AAU titles and six second places, usually to archrival Nashville Business College. Wayland was a leader in offering athletic scholarships for women, many of whom otherwise would have not been able to attend college.

He coached the U.S. women's team in the 1959 and 1971 Pan American Games to gold and bronze medals, respectively, directed the U.S. team in the 1964 World Championships and coached all-star teams against Russian competition.

Some of his most significant contributions to the women's game came while serving on several Olympic and AAU rules committees that promoted the five-player game, the 30-second clock and unlimited dribbling (in the early days, players could dribble only three times before having to pass or shoot). He also was among the first to use the full-court press and the fast-break offense, first used in 6-on-6 competition that prevailed until the 1970-71 season.

Redin has garnered numerous honors over his career, the most prestigious being the John Bunn Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 2018 for meritorious service to the game and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame in September 2019 as one of the coaches of the Flying Queen teams from 1948-82 that pre-dated the NAIA and NCAA programs.

A stickler for fundamentals and for good behavior on and off the court, Redin was cited by the Plainview Daily Herald'sCitizenship Hall of Fame for the promotion of sportsmanship.

He also used his flying skills as one of the pilots for the Queens, who were transported to out-of-town games in four Beechcraft Bonanzas furnished by team sponsor Claude Hutcherson, owner of Hutcherson Flying Service. The Queens name came from the team's first sponsor, Harvest Queen Mill, a local grain elevator.

Between the Queens and Pioneers, Redin coached more than 40 All-Americans.

After retirement in 1973 and a career at City National Bank, Redin coached for two seasons at Hale Center High School in the early 1980s.

A member of the inaugural class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1999 and the Wayland Athletics Hall of Honor in 1992, Redin also is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame, the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame, and the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club tapped Redin as the 2000 Naismith Women's Outstanding Contribution to Basketball Award winner for lifetime achievement, impact on the game and honor and exemplary service. In 2000, the Amarillo Globe-News named him one of the 100 Sports Legends of the Texas Panhandle.

Sports Illustrated named Redin one of the top people in sports in Texas from 1950 to 2000.

Wayland named its Athletics Hall of Honor for him and the Harley Redin Coach's Award has been given periodically since 1999 to outstanding alums in the coaching profession.

A former president of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, Redin also helped start the Lions Club summer baseball program and spearheaded an effort to have all the residences on Holliday Street decorate their homes with white lights for Christmas, motivating others in Plainview to utilize outdoor lighting.

He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Tarleton State University and he and his wife, Wilda Hutcherson Redin, were named Distinguished Benefactors of Wayland in 2007. The playing surface at Hutcherson Center – named for Mrs. Redin's late first husband, Claude Hutcherson – bears the name Wilda and Harley Redin Court. Harley, Wilda and Claude are all members of the Walk of Fame in front of the Fair Theater in Plainview.

Redin published two books – The Queens Fly High and A Basketball Guide for Girls.

He joined First Baptist Church in Plainview on Nov. 17, 1946, and was the oldest member of the church.

In his final years, Redin enjoyed the NBC Evening News with Lester Holt, watching sports on TV, big band music and keeping up with his former players and fellow servicemen.

Harley is survived by his wife Wilda; sons Van Redin of Austin and Kenny Redin and wife Cathy of Pflugerville; stepson Mike Hutcherson and his wife Suzy of Lubbock; sister Pat Barnhill of San Diego, Calif.; brother-in-law John Talley and wife Diane of Longview; brother-in-law Ernest Huitt of Redding, Calif., grandchildren Heather and Mike Peery of Bedford, Jacqueline Redin of Austin and Ryan Redin of Pflugerville; and several of nieces, nephews and cousins.

His first wife, Nonie, died in 1984.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hutcherson Flying Queens Foundation at www.flyingqueensbasketball.com or by check in care of Cherri Rapp, 2913-B. Lovell Drive, Austin, TX 78723.