By Roane State Community College/Donnie Hall, Sports Information Writer
HARRIMAN—Since 1993, Randy Nesbit has been the face of athletics at Roane State Community College. As the men’s head basketball coach and athletic director, he has had his hand in virtually all things sports at the college for nearly three decades.
Last week, Nesbit announced to college administration and coaching staff that he would be stepping down from his role as head men’s basketball coach and—as soon as the position can be filled—as athletic director.
Nesbit, who is also a tenured business instructor at the college, said he will be moving to the classroom full time.
According to Nesbit, “Back in the fall, I was in a mindset that I thought I could just continue to coach in perpetuity; I could just never see an end in sight. But then,” the veteran coach added, “after the new year began, I felt like the Lord was showing me that I should step away and look at teaching full time and possible business opportunities to benefit my family that, otherwise, I wouldn’t have the time available to do.”
After playing high school basketball at Yough High School in Western Pennsylvania, Nesbit’s collegiate career began at Gulf Coast Community College in Florida, where he played for one season before transferring to an NCAA Division I program at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
In only three years at the Citadel, Nesbit set the school record for most career assists (324) and tied a school record with 13 assists in a game against Marshall in 1979.
As a three-year starting point guard, Nesbit was a key member of the program’s 1979 team that won 20 games, which was a first for the college.
He was named a captain of the 1980 team and was selected to the 1979 and 1980 All-Southern Conference second team.
In 1978, Nesbit paced the Bulldogs with a 54.0 field goal percentage.
In 1980, his 92.5 free throw percentage was second-best in the NCAA.
He was inducted into the Citadel Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
Following a short stint in the ABA, Nesbit returned to the Citadel, where he served as an assistant coach under Les Robinson. Upon Robinson’s departure, Nesbit was named head coach of the team in 1985. He coached for eight seasons compiling an overall record of 75-121.
After the 1992 season, Nesbit left the Citadel to become the coach of the Roane State Raiders.
He said the move really wasn’t all that surprising. “I would say being an ex-two-year college player myself played a huge part in that (decision). I always felt that my experience at a two-year college was tremendous for me and benefitted me, and it made sense to want to be able to help other two-year college basketball players.”
Nesbit noted that staying at Roane State was always all about the players. “After being here, I realized that the only thing to keep me in good stead with my soul was to care as much as I could about each player on and off the court.”
As a coach for 29 seasons at Roane State, Nesbit led his Raiders teams onto the floor more than 800 times, winning 413 of those contests.
Looking back, Nesbit said, “I’ve coached against Larry Brown, Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith—and those sound like amazing memories—but they really are not bigger in scale to me than the memories I have of players being successful at Roane State and using their success at Roane State at a four-year school and in their lives after college.”
According to Teresa Duncan, Roane State’s vice president of workforce and community development, assistant men’s basketball coach Alan Holt has been named the interim head coach of the Raiders.
Nesbit said: “Alan Holt has been extremely loyal. He has matured greatly as a coach in a very long stint here and our program is strong and competitive.”
The outgoing coach added, “He has played a big part in (our recent success), and he is extremely ready to take on the head coaching role.”
Holt, who has been an assistant coach the last six seasons for RSCC, said: “I’m excited and really anticipating the opportunity I’m being given by our administration as our interim head coach. Coach Nesbit has left me in a very good situation with the success of our program and how competitive we have been the last several years.”
In a final remark, Nesbit concluded, “I wouldn’t trade my experience at Roane State for anything. I remember once I was thinking I’d make the climb back to the four-year ranks. An NCAA Division II school in South Carolina called me and I was excited. But then something told me that I shouldn’t bother, that I should just stay.”
Roane State is glad he did.