COVINGTON, Ga. — The Eastside High School boys’ basketball program will have a new face at the helm this winter.
After spending the 2019-20 campaign as associate head coach for nearby Salem, Dorrian Randolph was tabbed as the new leader of the Eagles this spring. Randolph takes over for Michael Gerald, who led the team to a 17-9 mark last season but fell short of the playoffs and resigned after seven years as head coach.
Eastside athletic director Phillip Davidson said what made Randolph an attractive candidate to lead his boys’ basketball program was “his motivation and energy he brought to the position.”
“He wowed us all with his basketball knowledge during the interview, and with his plans,” Davidson said. “He had well-laid plans and just kind of knew what he was coming into and where he was going to take it.”
Although a new destination, Randolph steps into his role at Eastside already familiar with the program.
Last winter, his Salem club rubbed shoulders with the Eagles in Region 4-AAAA. Through this, he says, he began to study Eastside and garnered respect for their leadership and athletic ability.
He previously taught and coached at Edwards Middle School in Rockdale County from 2010-13 before taking an assistant coach gig at Eagle’s Landing High.
Randolph was drawn in by Eastside’s atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to utilize a developed young core that includes rising junior stars Miokaye Grant and Chauncey Wiggins.
As he treks on his new journey, he hopes to leave a mark on the team that stretches beyond the win column.
“Of course you always have the goal to win, but to me, basketball is bigger than that,” Randolph said. “You have the opportunity to impact these young men’s lives. I want to be a mentor; someone they can call anytime, any year.”
He also placed an emphasis on expressing his gratitude for Davidson and Jeff Cher, principal of Eastside.
“I want to thank Dr. Davidson and Mr. Cher for believing in my coaching abilities and giving me the opportunity to be the leader here at Eastside,” Randolph said. “I’m very excited and can’t wait to get started.”
Randolph is a defensive-minded coach who will look to implement an aggressive man-to-man attack. He takes a cerebral approach to the game and is hopeful that his club will be able to wear teams down through a grueling full-court press and force them to make errors.
“I definitely want to fatigue our opponents both mentally and physically,” he said.
Randolph admits that coming into a new system in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the transition unorthodox. However, he’s been able to maintain contact with his new players through weekly Zoom meetings this summer. The topics in the team meetings range from academics, to basketball schemes, to instructions for conditioning drills.
Eastside’s athletics will make the jump to Class AAAAA this fall, so Randolph will be tasked with guiding the Eagles through uncharted territory in their new region.
“We’re excited about the future of our boys’ basketball program,” Davidson said. “Everybody that’s met coach Randolph, and all the parents that have interacted with him, he’s impressed them. Everybody’s excited about what he’s going to do here.”