Author: Alex Nieves|Alex Nieves|Alex Nieves
In his two years as a quarterback at Occidental College, Bill Redell ’64 passed for 1,567 yards and rushed for 1,583 yards, was twice named to the All-SCIAC team and led the Tigers to two SCIAC championships. Now the Occidental Legend and College Football Hall of Famer is set to lead his alma mater into the 2012 season.
Redell comes to Occidental after retiring from an incredibly successful 24 year high school head coaching career in which time he amassed 233 wins, eight California Interscholastic Federation Championships, and was twice named the National Coach of the Year. Redell had just taken over an administrative role with his last program, Oaks Christian High School, but he soon realized that raising funds was nothing like being a head coach.
When the Occidental job opened up abruptly at the end of the 2012 season, following the termination of former Head Coach Dale Wildoff due to NCAA recruiting violations, Redell received a phone call from Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman. What he thought would be an opportunity to work as a hiring consultant quickly proved to be a chance to coach the college team that helped to jump start his career.
“I went to school here, graduated from here and it’s been 50 years,” Redell said. “I thought, gosh what a great way to end your coaching career.”
Occidental is just as excited to have one of its all-time greats back on campus. “Bill has both a stellar coaching background and an Oxy degree,” Hoffman said. “I feel lucky to have him leading the program.”
The happy reunion can only last so long though, and now that the 2012 season is underway, Redell has his eyes set on improving the Tigers on-field performance after two straight lack-luster seasons, which featured 4-5 and 5-4 records respectively.
At first glance, many of similarities between this season’s team and the Occidental Football teams in years past can be seen. Offensive Coordinator Eric Bergstrom and Defensive Coordinator Erik Johnson will remain the center pieces of the coaching staff and they will continue to handle the job of teaching their respective schemes. This means that Redell’s main job will be to motivate and excite his current players, as well as recruit a new crop of talent.
The excitement is already very evident among the players, who are eager to get the program headed in the right direction, after watching it fail to finish higher than third in the SCAIC standings two years in a row.
“I expect nothing less than a SCIAC championship,” running back Austin Cheadle (sophomore) said. “[Redell] expects a lot out of us and big things for this program.”
Redell’s reputation already seems to be paying dividends in the recruiting game as about 50 recruits and their parents were on hand to watch the Tiger’s first game of the year. Numbers like these have never before been seen in the program.
“I think Coach Redell is going to bring a lot of excitement to the program,” quarterback Tommy Edwards (junior) said. “A lot of recruits are gonna want to come play for him because they know he’s a winner and that he’s gonna get the program where it belongs, which is on top.”
With a very young team that includes only eight seniors, high expectations among the players and the coaching staff and a level of attention that has not been seen in years, the future looks bright for Redell’s Tigers.
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