Vinton residents who visit Drake Stadium for the Drake Relays, the Iowa High School State Track Meet or other events may not realize they are seeing the work of a Vinton native.
Since 2011, Brady Randall, the son of Duane and Karen Randall, has been a member of the Drake Athletic Department; in 2015, he became the Assistant Athletic Director, and currently oversees the entire athletic complex at Drake, which includes Drake Stadium, the Knapp Center and more.
After graduating from UNI, Brady, who played football and basketball at V-S and who has participated in VS alumni basketball tourneys, earned his master’s degree at LSU.
During the state track meet, Brady oversaw all of the facilities and personnel, and acted as a liaison between the university and the members of the athletic associations that manage the meet.
Called the largest high school track meet in the nation by USA Today in 2013, the attendance at this year’s 3-day state meet was more than 37,600, just shy of a record 38,000 set a few years ago. On the last day of the meet, the Drake staff had to deal with a weather delay caused by a severe storm warning
Although it’s easy to for the public to see how busy Brady was during the track meet or Drake relays, he and the Drake athletic staff are constantly occupied with arranging events and upgrades to the facilities.
Other events he helps to oversee have included the WNIT Basketball Tournament, NCAA DI National Outdoor Championships, USA Track and Field championships, and AAU Junior Olympics.
In 2016, the field turf and track of Drake Stadium were replaced, along with the video board. Brady says the new track is a slightly darker blue than the previous shade of the famous “Blue Oval.” That, he explains, is because the darker hue conceals dirt better than the previous blue.
The next project is the replacement of the basketball floor at the Knapp Center.
In addition to sports events, Drake hosts the graduation ceremonies for 17 Des Moines-area schools each spring.
The state track meet did give Brady a chance to have some family time; Duane was among the ushers at the event.