BOUTTE, La. — Erica Randolph’s 7th season at Hahnville will be a historic one as she embarks on her new journey as the school’s first female head boy’s basketball coach.

“Honestly, the first female aspect, I never really thought about it too much. I just knew that this is where I belong,” says Hahnville head boy’s basketball coach Erica Randolph.

Randolph has served as an assistant coach on the boy’s basketball staff for years, helping Hahnville to back-to-back 5A semi-final appearances in 2020 and 2021.

She’s built a rapport with players while helping the program set its new standard of success.

So when the school announced Thursday that Randolph would be the Tigers’ new head coach, the news was well-received.

“We’ve been doing workouts for about two weeks. So, after I heard our head coach was leaving, I was kind of hesitant to see, you know, with the fellas not realizing, like, who would be the next head coach, whether or not they would show up to workouts. Every player was at workouts. When I told them they weren’t shocked, they started cheering right away. You know, we did a group hug, but that let me know. Like they also believe in the vision and they also understood the purpose,” says Randolph.

Purpose is what Erica Randolph has found at Hahnville High School.

The California native was a standout basketball player in high school and a four-year starter at Dillard University in New Orleans.

Randolph has traded the West Coast for the bayou, and now she can fulfill that purpose as the latest trailblazer in Louisiana high school basketball.

“I have always believed that bringing something to someplace else that’s not the same is always an important aspect of life. So I’ve always felt that my purpose was not in California anymore. I felt like they had enough diversity there, and I’ve always felt that Louisiana needed something different. I know for a fact if I would have been in California, like me, applying for a head coaching job, probably would have happened a long time ago. But here it was an anomaly and nobody believed that it could ever happen and here we are today,” says Randolph.

Randolph admires the work of other pioneers in the women’s coaching profession, like Becky Hammon, Kim Mulkey, and Dawn Staley.

She has taken a page out of their playbook and it has led her to this point in her basketball journey.

“The relationships that they build with their players, you know, that’s something that I’ve looked up to for years. You know, X’s and O’s are very important as a coach, but it’s clear that all of them have great relationships with their players and honestly, that’s the name of the game,” says Randolph.

Here is the full interview with Hahnville boy’s basketball head coach, Erica Randolph:

Last year, the Hahnville boy’s basketball team won 20 games and drew the 12-seed in the Division I non-select state playoffs. They fell in the second round to Ouachita Parish.