Wayland names basketball court in honor of longtime supporters
October 28, 2010
PLAINVIEW – On Friday, Nov. 5, Wayland Baptist University will honor a couple for their long-standing support of the school’s athletics programs.
A special come-and-go reception will be held for Wilda and Harley Redin from 5-6 p.m. in the Harley Redin Hall of Honor. At 6 p.m. a brief ceremony will recognize the two and officially unveil the “Wilda and Harley Redin Court,” acknowledged in script letters on the gymnasium floor.
Following the ceremony, the Flying Queens will open the 2010 basketball season with a game against Huston-Tillotson University of Austin.
In the late 1940s, Claude and Wilda Hutcherson built a relationship with Wayland Baptist College, resulting in untold benefits to the basketball programs. Claude and Wilda took on sponsorship of Wayland’s women’s basketball program, flying the team around the country and to games in Mexico in a fleet of Beechcraft Bonanza planes.
Through that sponsorship, the Hutcherson Flying Queens became known worldwide as one of the premier programs in women’s basketball. In 1971, Wayland opened a new athletic venue thanks to an initial gift from the Hutchersons. Today, Wayland’s Hutcherson Center remains a multi-functional facility that stands as a legacy to the late Claude Hutcherson.
Claude Hutcherson died in 1977, and Wilda eventually married Redin, longtime Flying Queens coach. He was instrumental in enacting rules changes to make the women’s game what it is today, including the five-player/full-court game, 30-second clock and unlimited dribbling (once restricted to three bounces of the ball before a pass or shot had to be made).
Redin, a member of the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and six other halls of honor, has been nominated several times for the Naismith Hall of Fame.
He won 437 games with only 68 losses as the Flying Queens coach from 1955-73. He led the team to six AAU national championships and coached 30 players who merited 55 AAU All-America citations and eight players who received NWIT All-America distinction 15 times.
Redin also coached the Wayland Pioneers from 1947-57 and led the team to three national tournament appearances.
Wayland officials decided to name the court after the couple, who have meant so much to the Flying Queens and the school throughout the years.
“This building is part of Claude’s legacy and we are pleased to help carry it on,” Wilda said as she and Harley saw the newly painted gym floor for the first time. “This is an honor. I think it is really a tribute to Claude and to Harley.”
While Wilda remains humble in her role, both men would likely say that she is the driving force behind the ongoing relationship with the school. After Wilda and Claude gave so much to help build the facility, Mrs. Redin has continued to give to projects benefitting the gymnasium, including renovating the lighting system, remodeling and refurbishing the Harley Redin Hall of Honor, remodeling the entrance to Hutcherson Center and replacing the bleachers on the floor level of the gymnasium.
An endowed scholarship bears the name of Wilda and Harley, and they have continued to support the Flying Queens program.
“Not only did Wilda and Claude give the initial gift for Hutcherson Center nearly 40 years ago, but Wilda and Harley have also been tremendous benefactors and champions of what we continue to do in Hutcherson Center,” said Wayland Athletics Director Dr. Greg Feris.
Feris said the reception is open to anyone who wishes to congratulate the Redins and thank them for their longtime contributions to Wayland.
“Wilda has seen Hutcherson Center as Claude’s legacy to the university and to Plainview through the years,” Feris said. “We appreciate what she and Harley have meant to Wayland all these years. This is a small way to be able to say thank you once again for some of the things they have been able to do for us.”