Varner leaves post as Randleman girls’ coach

Coach Brandon Varner had Randleman’s girls’ basketball team on a winning path. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

RANDLEMAN – Brandon Varner’s wildly successful five-season stretch as Randleman’s girls’ basketball coach has come to an end.

“Just time to step away,” Varner said. “The biggest thing was the time I was putting into basketball. There’s really no breaks.”

Under Varner, the Tigers went 103-20, with half those defeats coming in his first season when the team went 15-10.

Varner, 40, will remain as athletics director at Randleman Middle School, where he also is on the football staff.

“It was just getting to be a lot of time and going back and forth to the high school,” Varner said.

Randleman finished 27-2 during the past season following a 25-1 record in 2021-22. The Tigers were the Class 2-A West Region top seed in each of those seasons, reaching the regional semifinals this year for the fourth season in a row.

“It was so much fun and so many memories,” he said. “So proud of what (the players) accomplished and how hard they worked. They bought in to accomplish everything as a team and were dedicated to being a championship team.”

Varner took charge of the program beginning with the 2018-19 season. The Tigers have rung up a 56-4 record in regular-season conference play during his time.

Randleman was 24-3 in his second season and 12-4 in the pandemic-shortened slate in the 2020-21 academic year.

There will be transition in the lineup as well. Senior standouts Gracyn Hall, Elizabeth York and Jordan Booker completed their eligibility. Gracie Beane and Audra Petty figure to form the nucleus for next season.

“It should be a very appealing job,” Varner said. “There’s a talented group of girls who work really hard and know how to win.”

Varner said his duties with Randleman Middle School that include driving the bus for some teams has kept him on the go. He said he sensed the need for near-constant attention on the girls’ basketball program, particularly without an assistant coach at all practices.

“I felt it needed to be year-round if we’re going to be good,” he said. “I felt like that’s what we needed to do. During the season, if we’re not practicing, I felt like somebody is getting ahead of us.”

Varner said he wouldn’t rule out returning to a coaching role if a season or two away has him itching to return. He also said a small-coaching assistant coaching position might be attractive as well.

By Bob Sutton