Randy Norton hired as UAB’s new women’s head coach

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1366661598&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4027447&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1366661598 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Randy Norton, a 30-year coaching veteran and most recently the associate head coach at the University of Missouri, has been named the head women’s basketball coach at UAB, Director of Athletics Brian Mackin announced Monday.

Norton has coached at multiple levels throughout his career, including 10 seasons in NCAA Division I. With stops at Missouri and Illinois State, his teams have garnered two NCAA Tournament appearances, four WNIT berths, three Missouri Valley Conference Championships and two MVC tournament titles.

“We are thrilled to have Randy Norton joining the UAB family to lead our women’s basketball program,” Mackin said. “He brings a tremendous amount of experience and leadership skills and has demonstrated a high degree of success at a variety of levels during his coaching career.”


In three years at Missouri — two as the lead assistant and one as the associate head coach — Norton helped revive the Tigers’ women’s basketball program with a WNIT bid in 2013 — the school’s first postseason berth in six years.

While on the staff with head coach Robin Pingeton, Norton and the Tigers accomplished one of the best runs in school history despite playing rigorous schedules each season. In his first year with the program, Missouri played the seventh-toughest slate in NCAA Division I with three wins against ranked opponents. Most recently, the Tigers defeated No. 9 Tennessee, 80-63, on their way to a postseason berth this past season.

“After I met Brian (Mackin) and Derita (Ratcliffe) at the Final Four I had a great feeling about UAB and the city of Birmingham,” Norton said. “We talked a lot about championship culture throughout those meetings and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. Everyone I talked with had so many positive things to say about Birmingham, and I look forward to getting started.”

Before his time in Columbia, Mo., Norton worked on Pingeton’s staff at Illinois State, where their teams saw unprecedented success. In seven seasons, the Redbirds compiled an overall record of 144-76 (.655),  made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2005 and 2008), three WNIT berths (2007, 2009 and 2010), three Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles (2008, 2009 and 2010) and two MVC Tournament Championships (2005 and 2008).

Illinois State’s 28 wins in the 2009-10 campaign tied the school record for victories in a single season, matching the 1980-81 team. The Redbirds compiled a 28-8 record in 2009-10 and capped off three-straight conference titles.

Before moving to the Illinois State sideline, Norton spent 14 years as the head coach of the Assumption High School’s boys’ basketball team in Davenport, Iowa. During his tenure with the Knights, Norton compiled a 230-95 record and claimed two Iowa Coach of the Year awards and seven District Coach of the Year honors. His long list of accomplishments at Assumption include two Iowa State titles, five Mississippi Athletic Conference Championships and six Iowa State High School Tournament appearances.

A 1986 graduate of the University of Iowa, Norton played both basketball and baseball for the Hawkeyes. In fact, he was a guard on coach Lute Olson’s (former legendary Arizona coach) Iowa teams that won a 1979 Big Ten Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1980. On the diamond, Norton was a four-year letterwinner and pitcher for head coach Duane Banks.

Norton also pitched professionally for the Montreal Expos’ (now Washington Nationals) organization for three seasons before moving into coaching.

An Iowa City, Iowa, native, Norton and his wife, Claire, have four children: Tom, Carly, Allie and Nick. Tom, 22, plays basketball at Truman State and Carly, 21, is on the St. Ambrose University basketball team. Allie, 19, also plays at Truman State, while Nick, 17, participates on the Rock Bridge High School basketball team in Columbia, Mo.

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