By Don Williams
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 

Wayland Baptist coach dies at 100 years old

 

August 5, 2020

Courtesy photo

Harley Redin

Harley Redin coached Wayland Baptist for the back half of its national record 131-game winning streak and had his powerhouse teams inducted last year into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Those are among high points in a landmark career that made him a trailblazer for women's athletics.

Redin died Saturday in Plainview, according to an announcement from Wayland Baptist University. He was 100 years old.

Redin was a charter member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

"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 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."


The Flying Queens' teams of 1948-82, a stretch that included 18 seasons with Redin as head coach, were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September in a class that included NBA legends Bill Fitch, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Paul Westphal.

The year before, the Naismith Hall of Fame honored Redin with the John Bunn Award for meritorious service to the game.

Born and raised in Silverton, Redin flew 38 bombing missions over the South Pacific as a U.S. Marine during World War II.

He was hired in 1948 as athletic director and men's basketball coach to revive the sport at the then-Wayland Baptist College. He coached the Pioneers to a record of 151-88 over eight years with three appearances at the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City.

The Flying Queens' 131-game winning streak began with the first game of the 1953-54 season and ended in the semifinals of the AAU national tournament in 1958. Those teams were named Trailblazers of the Game by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Caddo Matthews coached the first two seasons of the streak before leaving Wayland, and Redin took over before the season opener in 1955.

From 1955-73, Redin led the Queens to a 437-68 record with six national AAU titles and six runner-up finishes in the years before the NCAA sanctioned women's basketball. Wayland was a leader in offering athletic scholarships for women, many of whom otherwise would have not been able to attend college.


During that era, the Wayland women's program also gained fame for flying to games on planes provided by Claude Hutcherson, a team sponsor and owner of Hutcherson Flying Service. The two were so synonymous, the teams were commonly called the Hutcherson Flying Queens.

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

Redin's influence extended to how the game itself was played. While serving on Olympic and AAU rules committees, he helped change the women's half-court game of six players, three on each end, to full-court, five-on-five. He also contributed to introducing the shot clock and unlimited dribbling.

Redin was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He also is a member of 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. Sports Illustrated named Redin one of Texas' top sports figures from 1950 to 2000.

 
 

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