By Rocco Geppi
Randy Gregory retired as CCBC Catonsville men's basketball head coach on June 4. He leaves as one of the most successful CCBC coaches, having collected 204 wins over 16 seasons.
In 2011, Gregory was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), but that did not stop him from performing his coaching duties over the last five seasons.
On January 28, the Cardinals defeated Hagerstown C.C. 79-68 on the road to give Gregory his 200th victory.
In addition to his coaching duties at CCBC Catonsville, he has also spent the last three years as the campus' student-athlete coordinator and assisted with special projects.
Gregory, who has five children – Tyler, Asia, Randy Jr., Ryan and Nesya – and his wife Patti have relocated to San Diego, Calif. where the winters tend to be more comfortable than those on the east coast.
Gregory joined the Cardinals coaching staff in 1993 as an assistant coach to then head coach Luke D'Alessio. When D'Alessio accepted the head coach position at Bowie State in 1999, Gregory was promoted to take his place.
By day, Gregory spent more than 20 years as a special agent for the United States Treasury, traveling the world to investigate major crimes against the U.S. Treasury.
Before Gregory joined the coaching ranks, he was a student-athlete for the Cardinals (1988-1989) and played basketball under Mike Mohler.
He went on to play baseball at Coppin State University and finished his undergraduate studies at Indiana University in 1995. It was at Indiana where Gregory honed his coaching abilities, learning from Bobby Knight while working at his camps.
"Since the time Randy became a part of the program as a student-athlete in 1988, he has continually demonstrated himself to be a first class person and outstanding professional," said Brian Farrell, CCBC Director of Athletics. "As I am sure his student-athletes feel also, you just don't replace people like Randy."
During his tenure at CCBC Catonsville, Gregory has coached numerous CCBC Athletic Hall of Fame members, NJCAA All-Americans, NJCAA All-Region XX and All-Maryland JUCO student-athletes.
It was the result of the relationships he formed with former student-athletes and coaches and the support of the CCBC community that Gregory loved performing his duties at Catonsville.
"For [over] 25 years, I have known Randy Gregory and we are very good friends," said Cardinals assistant coach Marcus Hammond. "For 15 of those years, we've coached together and I can think of two words that define him: student and mentor, in that order. Randy Gregory is a student of life and the game of basketball. He has a passion for learning, competing and mentoring."
On Feb. 23, CCBC Athletics and the CCBC Foundation hosted "Randy Gregory Night" at the Cardinals home game against Chesapeake College.
Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, CCBC President, opened the evening with a pregame address of thanks and appreciation to the many donors that contributed to the Randy Gregory scholarship fund of nearly $6,000, which increased by eleven hundred before the final horn sounded on the game.
During halftime, Farrell presented Gregory with a commemorative game ball to honor his 200th career win, then Chesapeake head coach Joel Dearring, AAU spokesman Ben Dubose and CCBC Dundalk head coach – a Gregory protégé – all took turns speaking about Gregory.
"He taught me to form a good work ethic and take ownership," said Taylor. "I understood that I had to be good in the classroom to see my potential on the court.
"Coach Gregory is one of the main reasons I enjoy coaching in the Maryland JUCO conference. But for as much as we know him as a basketball man, he is even more of a family man. His children were always around," Taylor continued. "Whether it was at practices, home games or on the road, they were there running around and taking everything in."
Whether he was traveling the globe for his day job or on the court with a new recruit, there is no doubt that Gregory's presence will be missed, but the CCBC community is excited for him to start this new chapter of his life in California.
*This article was contributed to by Craig Tyler.