July 1, 2012
Where are they now: Pulley finds hoops redemption
It was the dead of winter in 2004, right in the thick of one of the most discouraging regular seasons in Missouri basketball history. Eight and a half years ago, though it seems like another universe to Randy Pulley these days.
Quin Snyder's team had tumbled out of the national rankings after beginning the year in the top five. His program was under investigation by the NCAA, a former player was in jail accusing Snyder's staff of paying players and his heralded senior class was not in the midst of an extremely disappointing end to its once promising run.
So when Pulley, one of the only true point guards on the roster, began to skip practices in the middle of Big 12 play, Snyder had little patience. On Feb. 6, 2004, Snyder dismissed Pulley from the program.
With a whimper, the Randy Pulley Era ended at Missouri: 11 games and a grand total of 18 points, a minor footnote in an era not fondly remembered by Tiger fans.
"I basically blew it," Pulley says now. "I just wasn't focused. I didn't seize the opportunity and I didn't actually realize what I had until I got a little older and more mature."
Randy Pulley was done with Missouri. He was not done with basketball.
These days, it's "Coach" Randy Pulley.
Less than a decade after his unceremonious departure from Columbia, Pulley enters his second season as the head coach at Word of God Christian Academy, his alma mater and a renowned high school basketball program in Raleigh, N.C., best known for producing Washington Wizards' point guard John Wall.
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