If anyone ever said putting your head down and working hard pays off – Randy Mueller is the perfect testimony.
Mueller, a 1979 St. Maries High School graduate who went on to play college football before working for four NFL teams, has been involved in sports since his youth, and has experienced athletics at every level.
But a common denominator for the recent San Diego Chargers talent scout, regardless of league or age, has been memories made in big moments on the field, from Little League all the way to National Football League division championship games.
“The parts I think of the most, the memories that stand out for me the most is the winning,”Mr. Mueller said in a phone interview early this week. “When I was 12 years old we won the Little League championship, and I still look back at that as fondly as I do any of the big moments I was a part of.”
Mr. Mueller, who will be honored Friday night at the Lumberjack Booster Club’s tenth annual Hall of Fame banquet, started during his junior year in high school as a ball boy for the Seattle Seahawks, assisting with camps and offseason training sessions.
He made an impression, and after five seasons with Seattle, was hired full time – all the while playing quarterback for the Lumberjacks, and after high school at Linfield College in Oregon, where he won a national championship.
From there, he has done a little bit of everything.
“I kept my head down, and did whatever was asked of me,” Mr. Mueller added. “I used sports as a platform in adult life, so I would say sports have been a big part of my life.”
Mr. Mueller stayed with the Seahawks for 17 seasons, four as the vice president of football operations, before serving as the general manager for the New Orleans Saints for two years.
After his stint with New Orleans, Mueller worked as an analyst as ESPN for three seasons, followed by a three-year stay with the Miami Dolphins as their general manager.
He went from Miami to the San Diego Chargers, where he served 10 seasons as the national talent scout.
“I really didn’t foresee that,” he said of his lengthy career. “When I was in high school and Jim Wilund was hired as head coach, he installed a pro-set passing offense, and that really helped me. It made football special for me.”
Lumberjack Hall of Fame committee member, Dennis Humphrey, said the honor for Mueller was something that had been discussed from the banquet’s inception.
“When you think of St. Maries, Randy exemplifies this community,” Mr. Humphrey commented. “He works hard, and is one of the nicest people you’ll talk to. He’s just an all-around good guy.”
The Hall of Fame Banquet is the major annual fundraiser for St. Maries athletics. Over the past nine years, the Lumberjack Booster Club has raised more than $150,000.
The club is currently working to build an athletic complex that would include baseball, softball and soccer fields near St. Maries High School.
Friday’s banquet begins at 5 p.m. with social hour, followed by dinner at 6 p.m., hall of fame induction at 6:30 and the auction to follow.