After 23 years in charge, Randy Steward has resigned as head wrestling coach at Loras College, the Dubuque, Iowa, school announced today. Steward will leave the Duhawks and head to Georgia where he will teach physical education and coach at Sonoraville High School roughly halfway between Atlanta and Chattanooga. During his time at Loras, Steward coached 56 All-Americans and six NCAA champions while earning Iowa Conference Coach of the Year honors four times. He is a recent inductee into the NWCA Division III Hall of Fame.
TJ Miller will move from associate head coach to head coach for the 2016-2017 season. Miller wrestled for his father, Hall of Fame coach Jim Miller, at Wartburg and was the 2007 NCAA Champion at 197 lbs. He was the associate head coach at Loras during the 2015-2016 season and spent the previous five seasons as head coach at Holy Cross School in New Orleans prior to his return to Iowa.
DUBUQUE, Iowa (Duhawks.com) – For 23 years, Randy Steward has owned his place at the side of the mat as the head coach of the wrestling program at Loras College. Beginning in November, the Duhawks will have a new leader at the helm, but one that has stared success right in the eyes.
Loras Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen accepted the resignation of Steward and approved the transition to promote TJ Miller as head coach on Monday.
“Randy has been a hallmark of Loras College and the wrestling program for many years. He has personally overseen the development of hundreds of student-athletes and forged success in their lives, both on and off the mat,” Udelhofen said. “I have had the pleasure of knowing Randy for over 20 years and consider him to not only be a trusted colleague, but also a dear friend. We are extremely grateful for his dedication and service to Loras and we wish him the best in his future.”
Steward’s new role brings him to Calhoun, Ga. and Sonoraville High School where he will serve as a physical education instructor and head wrestling coach.
“Some people out there may think that my time has come to retire, but that motivates me to no end and I am tickled to death to begin the final chapter of my coaching career,” Steward said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to relocate to Georgia and put my stamp on what is already a very successful program at Sonoraville High School.”
Throughout Steward’s 23 years at Loras, he coached 56 All-Americans, with the most recent being Malcolm Watson at the 2016 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships this past March. His accolades include 228 dual victories, 15 Academic All-Americans, nine top-16 national finishes and six national champions. This past season, Steward was inducted into the DeWitt Central Athletic Hall of Fame and the NWCA NCAA Division III Hall of Fame.
“Reflecting on the past 23 years here at Loras has proven to be an emotional undertaking,” Steward said. “How many people can honest get up every morning and have the opportunity to do something they love? I’ve been extremely fortunate to do just that.”
Steward was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year and NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2014 after qualifying three for nationals and winning the national championship at 285#. In total, the Iowa Conference has recognized Steward as its Coach of the Year on four occasions.
“It is the end of an era, but I want to make it clear that it is not all about me, I am just one lucky man who had a vision and a passion to build upon something very special,” Steward added. “There are so many people who have helped in one way or another to build the program, including student-athletes, parents, alumni and friends of the program.”
As a Division III student-athlete himself at Cornell College, Steward was a four-time national qualifier before graduating with a degree in physical education. He later went on to earn his master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University.
With one season under his belt as associate head coach, Miller is eager to lead a collegiate program for the first time in his career. Prior to Loras, Miller was the head wrestling coach at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans where the Tigers won two team state championships and 14 individuals were crowned state champions.
“This move also marks the beginning of a new era with many things already in place and ready to be taken to the next level,” Steward shared. “I will be watching from afar as TJ puts his own personal spin on the program. His imminent success will be fun and exciting to see develop.”
Miller was an NCAA Division III National Champion in 2007 at 197#, finishing with a career record of 110–9. Miller was a three-time NCAA All-American and three-time Iowa Conference Champion. During his time at Wartburg, the Knights won three NCAA Division III National Championships.
“I would like to thank President Jim Collins and Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen for their confidence in me to lead the wrestling program moving forward,” Miller said. “I will forever be grateful to Randy Steward for giving me my original opportunity, for his friendship and for his guidance. My wife and I are thrilled to be a part of the Loras College family for the years to come and are excited to take the wrestling program to the next level.”
Miller inherits a program that went 2–13 in duals a season ago, but qualified two for nationals in sophomore Michael Triplett (133#) and Watson (197#). In total, four wrestlers earned All-Conference designation, with junior Evan Weaver (141#) and freshman Quin Gilliam (285#) joining Triplett and Watson.
“This past year has been pretty special, given my induction into two hall of fames and my final All-American in Malcolm Watson,” Steward added. “I would like to thank everyone that has a connection to Loras College Wrestling. I will continue to treasure the countless relationships that I have had the pleasure of developing over the past two decades at Loras.”
Friends of the program are invited to a celebration of Steward’s career at Loras on Saturday, July 9 inside the Alumni Campus Center Ballroom. Social hour will begin at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and speeches at 6:45 p.m. Cost is $25 per person.