The Ron Randleman Strength and Fitness Center was made possible by a gift of $250, 000 by Houston businessman and Bearkat alum Ron Mafrige
Mafrige, who passed away in August, 2011, was a generous supporter of Bearkat athletics. The 1960 Sam Houston graduate contributed more than $2 million to the university.
"Ron was a leader in many ways for alums," SHSU President Dana Gibson said. "Whether it was related to athletics or developing and advancing the university, he was an alumni leader for years."
Mafrige led and participated in numerous Sam Houston organizations and initiatives. The Houston real estate entrepreneur served as National Campaign Chair for Sam Houston’s first capital campaign.
He was a Life Endowed Member of the Alumni Association and was a longtime member of the alumni board. He also was a board member and director of the Kat Pack and served as a member of the College of Business Administration’s Alumni Advisory Council.
Mafrige was a recipient of the 1997 Distinguished Alumnus and 2004 Outstanding Service Awards.
The Ron Mafrige Field House located in the south end zone of Bower Stadium houses the university’s athletic administration offices. The Mafrige Basketball Challenge has generated more than $250,000 in gifts and commitments for the SHSU’s basketball endowment with the goal of reaching $1 million.
In 2008, Mafrige donated $40,000 to build the 20-foot-tall statute of General Sam Houston created by alumnus David Addicks, which stands near the Lowman Student Center and Smith-Hutson Building.He also purchased many of the granite benches seen across campus in honor of a number of people.
Outside of university endeavors, Mafrige and his family established scholarship programs at his high school alma mater, San Marcos Baptist Academy, and at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where seven of his $10,000-scholarship recipients have opted to attend SHSU. He was a member of the Houston 100 Club, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Republican National Committee and the Houston Realtors-Political Action Committee.
Ron Randleman served as head football coach at Sam Houston for 23 years (from 1982 to 2004). He totaled 132 victories and led the Bearkats to five conference championships and four national playoff appearances during his coaching tenure.
He served as director of athletics from 1984 to 1990, coordinating the University's move from the NAIA and Lone Star Conference to membership in the Southland Conference and competition at the NCAA Division I level.
During his 36 years as a head football coach, Randleman compiled a career record of 219 victories, 166 losses, and six ties to rank sixth all-time among NCAA Division I-AA coaches in total wins. During his tenure at William Penn, Pittsburg State, and Sam Houston, he won 11 conference championships and directed teams to post-season play 10 times. He was honored as regional or conference “Coach of the Year” 12 times.