For 37 years (1970-2007), Frank Randall was a stabilizing force in the Iowa State Athletics Department, influencing and mentoring countless student-athletes, student-trainers and co-workers.
A native of Carlsbad, N.M., Randall graduated from New Mexico State in 1962 with a degree in agricultural business. He served as head athletic trainer at his alma mater until 1964 before working at New Mexico Military from 1965-69. He spent one year at the University of Idaho (1969-70) before beginning his tenure at ISU in 1970.
Randall arrived in Ames as the school’s head athletic trainer, working with every team. He assisted ISU head football coaches Johnny Majors and Earle Bruce in the 1970s and was an integral part of the Cyclones’ resurgence on the gridiron, as ISU played in four bowl games during the decade.
He wore many hats as the Cyclone trainer. He was responsible for strength and conditioning testing, diet programming, pre-game taping, post-game treatments, keeping medical records of all athletes and organizing travel plans and arrangements on road trips.
Randall was an innovative leader in athletic injury prevention and rehabilitation programs. He developed the state-of-the-art bilateral knee brace in the late 1970s used by many schools across the nation. It was a starting point for today’s knee bracing that is credited with dramatically reducing knee injuries suffered by football players.
One of Randall’s most important contributions to ISU was his teaching and outreach program for athletic trainers. He was one of the first trainers nationally to implement a classroom curriculum while providing clinical experience which provided students the opportunity to learn the profession and get placed at high schools and colleges before and after graduation. Randall’s classroom teaching helped ISU achieve a national reputation for producing outstanding athletic trainers and coaches in professional, college, amateur and high school sports.
Randall was an active member of the National Athletics Trainers Association (NATA), serving as district director, vice president and chair of many committees. He received the highest honor in his profession in 1991 when he was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Mid-America Hall of Fame in 1995, and was honored in the inaugural class of the Iowa Athletic Trainers Society Hall of Honor. Randall served as head trainer at the Blue-Gray All-Star football game and volunteered his time as an athletic trainer for many Iowa high school all-star games.
Randall gave up day-to-day responsibilities as athletic trainer in 1998 and became an assistant athletics director for operations, holding that title until he retired in 2007. His duties included overseeing the Feldman Athletic Care Center, ISU Sports Medicine Clinic, strength and conditioning, facilities and game day operations.