Randy Ayers Named to Ohio Hoops HOF

May 17, 2013 at 3:55p    by Michael Citro    
20 Comments

Former Ohio State basketball coach Randy Ayers will be one of 12 inductees into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at a banquet at the Columbus Convention Center.

Randy AyersRandy Ayers won two B1G titles during his tenure.

Ayers took over the program after Gary Williams left in 1989. He coached the Buckeyes for eight seasons, with a career mark of 124-108, and a B1G record of 64-80. He took the Buckeyes to regional No. 1 seeds in 1991 and 1992, winning conference championships both years. His teams reached the NCAA tournament three straight years from 1990-92.

In 1990-91, Ayers led the Buckeyes to the Sweet 16, before falling to No. 4 seed St. John's, 91-74. His 1991-92 squad, featuring Jim Jackson, current OSU Assistant Coach Chris Jent, Lawrence Funderburke and guards Mark Baker and Jamaal Brown came up just short in the Elite Eight, falling 75-71 in overtime to the Fab Vacated Five.

Ayers was named National Coach of the Year in 1991, and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992. His teams at Ohio State performed well, but didn't quite seem to reach their full potential something that Ayers laments.

“We had a nice three-year run with that group,” Ayers said. “That group was such an unselfish group.”

But then the program slipped, beset by players’ off-the-court problems. After four straight losing seasons, Ayers was let go.

“It was really disappointing,” Ayers said. “I was more disappointed in myself because I didn’t complete the job. I was really happy for the highs, but very disappointed with the lows. It still nags at me to this day.”

Bleacher Report named him No. 3 on their worst Big Ten coaches since 1992 list slideshow, which of course means his most successful years didn't count in the article slideshow. It is noteworthy that Bleacher Report also named him No. 5 on their list of best coaches in program history, ahead of Gary Williams.

Still, he's the fifth winningest coach in program history. During his tenure, Ayers coached such Buckeyes as Greg Simpson, Derek Anderson and two-sport star Ricky Dudley, in addition to the aforementioned 1991-92 starters.

After leaving Ohio State, Ayers became an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was named head coach in 2003, compiling a 21–31 record before being let go mid-season. He served as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, then returned to Philadelphia as an assistant in 2009. He is currently on the New Orleans Pelicans' coaching staff.

Ayers was a star player at Springfield North and later at Miami University. He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls but did not make the roster. Ayers returned to Miami, where he was on Jerry Pierson's coaching staff until he took the Ohio State job.

Other 2013 Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inductees include: Brad Daugherty, Fran Guilbault, Howard Jolliff, Kenyon Martin, James Morgan, Ron Niekamp, Tamika Williams Raymond, Wally Szczerbiak, official Steve Trout, Barbara Turner, and Bill Uhl. Team inductees are the 1964 state champion Dayton Belmont High School boys and 2009 national champion University of Findlay men.

 


20 Comments

Comments

SilverBulletNYC's picture

Interesting. 

The South will NOT rise again!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Congrats.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Congratulations Coach Ayers; him and JJ were my intro to Ohio State basketball. I always felt that team in 95 was loaded, but quit on him (for the most part). Some of those guys were a$$holes, especially Derek Anderson. Swear to God I saw him at Worthington and asked about the upcoming season and he said it was all good THE DAY BEFORE HE TRANSFERRED TO UK!!!!

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

HighBallAce's picture

Derek Anderson was NOT an asshole! Just because he transferred doesn't make him so! He was looking out for his best interests and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. It was the guys around him who were the assholes.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Not for the transfer, but for lying. That whole team was full of them.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

BuckeyeChief's picture

Jermaine Tate was cool.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Maestro's picture

Mazel tov

vacuuming sucks

cajunbuckeye's picture

I'm a bit surprised. I guess he had some good years, but he basically wrecked the mens basketball program.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Big D's picture

I think it's easy to blame Ayers for all the stuff that went down.  He deserves his share to be sure.  But the nature of the OSU hoops job 20 years ago was to get Ohio's best players. The problem was Ohio's best players were either not that good, criminals, or in a couple cases, BOTH.  Greg Simpson, Charles Macon, Damon Stringer, Jami Bosley, Shaun Stonerook, Jermaine Tate, and on and on.  We didn't have the national profile T. Matta has brought to the program, so we weren't going to get high profile guys from all over.  Basically, Jim Jackson made his career, and the other shmucks killed it.  He only got half a season more as a head coach since he was fired here. 
No way in hell is he a HOF coach, but if he was a program killer, he had an awful lot of help.  Boban Savovic is 10x the program killer Ayers was for us.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The old saying, "the buck stop here", needs to apply. .The head of the program is ultimately responsible. You recruit them, you are responsible. You are the head coach. You run the program. Ayers ran the program into the ground.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

HighBallAce's picture

You have absolutely no idea what your talking about! 

BuckeyeChief's picture

Please explain.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

HighBallAce's picture

Well, did you play for the man? If you had, you would know that he was never lax with his punishments. You would know that he was a very strict coach. He can't be with his players for 24/7. No coach can! That includes Urban Meyer or even Thad Matta. At some point in time, you have to let the kids leave the stadium or the practice facility. You can't hold their hands! You can discipline them all the time for mess ups but ultimately you still can not hold their hands 24/7. Randy Ayers had no idea the guys he recruited would end up being bad seeds. Trust me, if you had played for coach Ayers, you would know that he was very strict as well as fair with his players. To say that coach Ayers himself brought the program down is a load of crap.

BuckeyeChief's picture

OK. I am assuming you are a former player?I am not going to agree/ disagree. I am happy he made the HoF, and wish his last couple of years turned out different.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

cajunbuckeye's picture

Records of 13-16, 6-22, 10-17, 10-17, and 8-22, are hard to overlook. Add the numerous off court incidents that basically made the program a "punchline" and it's difficult for me to see this one. I'm not saying Ayers is a bad guy, but remove the years he coached Gary Williams' recruits and it's not pretty.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

HighBallAce's picture

You made the comment that only Jimmy Jackson's years were good. Your wrong! As I seem to recall the year after he left, Ohio State beat Indiana when Jamie Skelton lit them up. In regards to those records you posted, they lost their entire starting team and had to have bench warmers start. Have you ever coached a basketball team? Cause it's kinda hard to do well after your top players have left. Besides that, they had 5 or 6 guys that made the program "unattractive" to other recruits! Randy Ayers' defenses were the best defenses Ohio State has ever had up to his years coaching! He ran a press defense that the other coach's sense have NOT employed! Imagine what the Ohio State defenses would have been like had they ran the traps and press' that Ayers' teams ran! And before you tell me that they did run those same press', you'd be wrong!
And in regards to Derek Anderson lying, could you imagine the response he would get from Ohio State fans if he told them he was going to transfer? He has a right to his privacy and didn't have to answer to anyone but God himself. Besides that, you don't just transfer in one day's time. It has to be approved by both coach's as well as the then Big 10 commissioner!

BuckeyeChief's picture

I won't debate anything but this:
I met Anderson as a 16 year old at Worthington; he was on crutches; I asked if he would be ready to go and was coming back for next season he said yes...the NEXT DAY he announces he is transferring. I guess our definition of lying differs...I could understand why in hindsight, but he did lie to me.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

cajunbuckeye's picture

HighBall your describing a program in shambles. That's the point I was making. Looks like we're in agreement.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Earle's picture

He should send Jim Jackson a fruit basket or something.

Italics are for emphasis; an ellipsis represents an unfinished thought.