In the latest installment of our Student-Athlete Spotlight series, we visit with former baseball player, Randy Guiler. Guiler, a native of Fairfield, Ohio, pitched from 1984-87 and upon graduation ranked among the top-10 in several career categories, including wins, innings pitched and complete games. Also, Guiler was the 2007-08 recipient of The Chaney Memorial Award for his ongoing support of Belmont Athletics.
Why did you choose Belmont?
Former cross country coach and Belmont hall-of-famer Dave Young was instrumental in my choosing to attend Belmont. Dave was a recruiter in the admissions department and had grown up in a neighboring town. Interestingly, Dave’s father, Jack Young, was my dad’s high school basketball and baseball coach in Ohio in the late 1950’s. The opportunity to earn a great education and play college baseball in a warmer climate were very appealing.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
I have lots of great baseball memories from my time at Belmont. However, my fondest athletic memory is from March 2006. Prior to its transition to NCAA, I had already decided that the first time Belmont Men’s Basketball Team reaches the NCAA tournament that I would be there, no matter where it would be played. I’ll never forget that trip to San Diego to meet UCLA. Little did I know, it would be the first of my seven trips over a decade (2006-2015) to watch Belmont in March Madness.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my parents were the biggest influence to me during those years. Not only did they support my decision to move away and attend Belmont, but they made countless trips to Nashville during those four years to watch me pitch. Their unconditional support was the example for me decades later in raising and supporting our children and their athletic careers.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
In addition to a quality education, the most valuable thing I gained during my time at Belmont was a large group of life-long friends. It’s been thirty years, and I still keep in close contact with several of my former baseball teammates, including Gary Temple, Doug Irwin, and Rusty Angell, among others.
What advice would you give to current members of the baseball team?
It’s your time. Decades down the road, you will often look back and think about your college experiences. Don’t risk having to look back and think “I could’ve done better or I could’ve worked harder”. Work hard to become a very good player, but work harder to be a great friend and great teammate. It’s your time. You own it. Be responsible and be accountable.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Wow. That’s a lay-up. In the spring of 1984, I spent my Saturday mornings in the basement of Striplin Gymnasium taking Professor Dave Whitten’s “Methods of Coaching Baseball” course. Beyond the details of who really invented baseball, Coach Whitten served as a terrific role model of how to live and love life. He taught that there are many more important things to life than winning and losing. I was fortunate to have many great professors during my time at Belmont, but my first thought when you asked that question was of The Coach.
Where do you live now?
Gwen and I relocated to Southeast Virginia in July of 2014. We are living in Norfolk. It was tough for me to leave the Middle Tennessee area after 30+ years. Among the things I miss most, are attending Belmont basketball and baseball games. Thank goodness for the OVC Digital Network and the voice of the Bruins, Kevin Ingram.
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
In July of 2014, I relocated to Norfolk to become Vice President of Investor Relations for Dollar Tree, Inc. Dollar Tree acquired Family Dollar in July of 2015, and we now have approximately 14,000 retail stores across North America with annual sales totaling more than $20 billion. I am the primary corporate spokesperson to the investment community and media.
Tell us about your family.
This coming June, Gwen (Belmont ’85) and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary. Gwen recently retired as a CPA and now spends her time making new friends and volunteering at local schools and urban ministries in the Norfolk area. Our daughter, Anne (26), was married in August of 2014, and resides in St. Louis with her husband, Nate. Anne is the Development Coordinator for the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Our son, Seth (22), is completing his senior year at Union University. Seth is majoring in Electrical Engineering and played four years for Union’s NCAA Division II soccer team.
If you are a former Belmont student-athlete and want to particpate in this series, please contact John Langdon at firstname.lastname@example.org.