Weber State University men’s basketball coach Randy Rahe was one of several people honored by the National MS Society’s Utah/Southern Idaho chapter Wednesday night. Rahe received the Sportsperson of the Year award.
“It must have been a down year in Utah, I guess, if I got that thing,” Rahe said, laughing, on Tuesday. “It’s really a great honor. I’m very humbled by it.”
Rahe is in his eighth season at WSU. He has a record of 150-75, 92-24 in Big Sky Conference play.
Rahe was quick to share the credit with his colleagues.
“Things like that don’t happen on your own,” Rahe said. “I’ve got a great coaching staff. I’m blessed to have so many great players. They tend to make me look better than what I am.”
According to the National MS Society‘s website, “each 2013 honoree exemplifies the core values and traits of a true champion and inspires us all to keep moving forward with drive and determination.”
WSU’s director of intercollegiate athletics, Jerry Bovee, said Rahe receiving the award was well deserved.
“I think that Coach Rahe embodies everything that’s right in collegiate sports, especially Division I basketball,” Bovee said. “He’s a good influence on his players. For our program, he’s really been a boon to get things going in the right direction. He recruits to kind of suit the athletes that meet our profile at Weber State.”
Bovee added that it is not just Rahe’s winning success at WSU that made him a candidate.
“Sportsperson of the Year means that he’s teaching the things that build our communities and build our young men,” Bovee said. “I think it’s well deserved, and I’m proud of him for his accomplishments and what he’ll continue to accomplish for our program. He coaches in a way that I think helps our community to be proud and involved in our program.”
The effects Rahe has had on the campus and community have shown in recent reports. For the fifth-straight year, WSU has seen an increase in men’s basketball attendance. The team led the Big Sky and was 78th in the country in attendance per game. This year marked the highest average attendance since the 1996-97 season at the Dee Events Center.
Rahe is the second person from WSU to receive an award from the MS Society in the last two years. Last year, Damian Lillard was awarded Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year.
“The McCarthey family has been putting on this event for the last 35 years,” said chapter development manager Shelly Parker. “(A committee) selects honored Utah sports heroes in the community. The committee keeps track of all the sports all year long and keep track of the people that show over everybody else.”
More than anything, Rahe said, he was happy for getting WSU athletics more recognition.
“It’s nice to have our program recognized,” Rahe said. “Maybe we are doing a few things right. It recognizes our program and our university. It is gratifying from that standpoint.”
Bovee said he likes the way Rahe has run the program and looks forward to the future.
“This award, more than anything else, fits the kind of person he is,” Bovee said. “He would never say that. He doesn’t like this kind of stuff. But I think it’s very appropriate. He’s represented our institution well. That shows in the kind of contract that he has. He has a long-term contract and he’s been a great part of our community. I hope that he’s here for many years to come.”