When you have been somewhere long enough, it begins to feel like home and the people there start to feel like family.
Even though Randy Growall has been at Plainview for many years, this time around he’s got a permanent spot.
Growall will be an assistant football coach and the leadership instructor at Plainview High School for the upcoming school year.
Although this is his first time teaching young kids, it is not his first encounter being an important leader or role model.
“What I will be teaching is brand new to Plainview this year,” Growall said. “We are going to challenge students to become the best version of themselves that they can be, and to leverage positive influence on others. I believe our nation needs leaders that can transform society. It’s easier to shape a child than to rebuild an adult. As a coach, we are using the game of football to prepare these young men to be productive citizens, good husbands, and good fathers. I am very excited to get the opportunity to teach these young kids.”
It was no coincidence that
Growall ended up coaching at Plainview.
“My wife graduated from Plainview during the 80s, and she is originally from the Ardmore area, so that’s when I heard about the school,” Growall said. “All five of our kids ended up graduating from PHS as well. I grew up playing football and I even refereed for ten years, and I just wanted to stay involved with the sport for as long as I could. I was so happy when Eddie Paul asked me back in 1999, if I wanted to come out and help coach the 7th graders at Plainview. Of course I said yes, and loved every minute of it. The next year, he asked me if I wanted to come back and help coach the high school, and I’ve been with them ever since.”
Growall is in the Army Reserves and has been since 1986. He has also won many awards for all of his courageous acts of service. He has earned two Bronze Star medals, two Army Commendation medals, and five Army Achievement awards, and many more.
Every year, in September, Plainview has a “Military Appreciation Night” as one of the many themes for home Friday night football games. They recognized Growall over the loud speaker during halftime for all that he has done for our country.
“From Plainview, I have received this beautiful military appreciation football jersey in a huge frame that is displayed in my living room at home. It was very nice of them to do that for me and I was honored to receive it.”
Even heroes can be frightened.
“God was looking out for my team on more than one occasion,” Growall said. “One patrol at night an IED went off from the right side of the road, we just so happened to drift to the left side of the road when it happened. The truck behind us said he saw the blast go over our truck, and if we had been center or right, it would have been bad. I can think of three other times things like that happened and we were lucky to have survived them.”
Growall thinks back on his favorite memories with the Plainview football program.
“Being with these coaches is a blessing, and it seems like we are always in the office laughing about something. We all consider ourselves as brothers and would do anything for each other.
Family is very important to Growall.
“I could not do any of this without my wife Fran who takes care of so many things behind the scenes that no one ever thinks about,” Growall said. “She is my guide, and I love her so much. I feel so very blessed to have her praying for me everyday and walking by my side through it all.”