City Celebrates Harley Redin Day

August 28, 2019

Group standing in front of City Hall
Alesha Ellis, from left, Kenny Redin, Van Redin, Rick Cooper and Dr. Claude Lusk were on hand at the Plainview City Council meeting to accept the proclamation declaring Aug. 29, 2019 at Harley Redin Day in Plainview. Redin is celebrating his 100th birthday.

PLAINVIEW – The Plainview City Council meeting opened with a special proclamation Tuesday night, declaring Aug. 29, 2019 as Harley Redin Day in the City of Plainview.

Redin is the legendary coach of the Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens basketball program that will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 6, in Springfield, Mass. The Queens have been inducted in the Hall of Fame based on their success, longevity and impact on the game of women’s basketball, much of which can be attributed directly to Coach Redin.

A 1936 graduate of Silverton High School, Redin served as a Marine bomber pilot in WWII, flying 38 missions over the South Pacific. He moved to Plainview in 1946 to establish an athletics program at Wayland. He served as the director of athletics and coached the men’s basketball team. Wayland officially started a women’s basketball program in 1948 with the help of local businessman and sponsor Claude Hutcherson. Redin began coaching the Queens in 1955 and was responsible for 79 of the team’s record 131 consecutive wins.

The legendary coach who still lives in Plainview with his wife, Wilda, also worked to change the game of women’s basketball. Wayland was the first college or university to offer athletic scholarships to women, doing so in the 1950s. Redin was also instrumental in enacting the change from the half-court, limited-dribble game that was played by women, to the full court, unlimited game played by men. Redin coached in the Pan American games and, along with Hutcherson, flew the team all over the country to games. Redin coached the team from 1955-73 accumulating a record of 437 wins and only 68 losses.

Along with his teams being enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame, Redin was honored individually last year with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest individual honor granted by the Hall of Fame outside of enshrinement. Redin is also one of the original members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame, Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame and an inaugural member of the Wayland Athletics Hall of Honor. He was cited in Sports Illustrated as one of the top people in Texas sports and was named one of the 100 Sports Legends of the Texas Panhandle.

The proclamation was accepted by Redin’s sons Kenny and Van. Speaking for the family Van Redin thanked the council and the City of Plainview for this honor.

“I know he would be very excited and he is very appreciative of everything that Plainview has done for him,” Redin said.

Alesha Ellis, current coach of the Flying Queens, spoke on behalf of the university about how much Redin has meant to her personally.

“For a man to shape women’s basketball like he did,” Ellis said. “To give me the opportunity and a lot of other girls the opportunity to have scholarships and play 5-on-5 full court and to shape women’s basketball like he did is really special to me and I’m super passionate about it.

“It’s a blessing for me to be up here and to speak about Harley,” she said. “There are not enough words to describe how special he is to us at Wayland Baptist.”