Randy Norton is in his seventh season on the Redbird women's basketball staff and his fifth as associate head coach, earning that title in 2005. He came to Illinois State along with head coach Robin Pingeton in 2003 after spending 20 years as a highly successful boys basketball coach in Iowa.
Norton has been a part of four postseason appearances with the Redbirds, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament and a run to the WNIT semifinals last season. The native of Iowa City, Iowa, helped guide the Redbirds to back-to-back conference championships and three-straight 20-win seasons, compiling a record of 74-26 in the last three years.
With more than 26 years of coaching experience, Norton's complete grasp of all elements of coaching have a daily impact on the success of Redbird basketball.
Norton's responsibilities include recruiting, scouting and coaching the perimeter players for the Redbirds. He also plays a vital role in developing the Redbirds' schedule and helps organize individual workouts and practice sessions.
When Norton came to Illinois State, it was his first experience coaching women's basketball, but he already had established himself as one of the top prep boys basketball coaches in Iowa.
From 1989-2003, he had 230 wins and two Iowa State Championships as a boys prep basketball coach at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa.
He was 230-95 in 14 seasons at Assumption High School and earned two Iowa Coach of the Year awards. Already headed for legendary coaching status in his home state, Norton's success and experience made him a great fit for Pingeton's staff and the rebuilding movement of the program.
His transition from boys prep basketball to the women's college game has been seamless because of his belief that fundamentals are the same for all players.
Norton also had a prestigious athletic career as a player. In high school, he was an Iowa All-State selection in basketball and baseball.
At the University of Iowa, he played both basketball and baseball for two legendary coaches. As a freshman and sophomore, he was a guard on Lute Olson's (the former head coach at Arizona) basketball teams that won a 1979 Big Ten Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1980.
As a pitcher for the Hawkeyes' baseball team, he was a four-year letterwinner for Duane Banks, Iowa's all-time wins leader. He helped the Hawkeyes average 34 wins per season during his time.
Norton then went on to pitch professionally in the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) organization for three seasons before beginning his coaching career.
Norton and his wife, Claire, reside in Bloomington with their four children: Tom (19), Carly (18), Allie (16) and Nick (14). Tom is a freshman basketball player at Truman State and Carly and Allie are both successful basketball players at Bloomington's Central Catholic High School. Nick is an eighth-grader at Epiphany Junior High School and participates in basketball, baseball and track.