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Football: Another honor for Bill Redell on Friday

Football: Another honor for Bill Redell on Friday
Former Oaks Christian football Coach Bill Redell will have the school field named after him on Friday. (Lawrence K. Ho)

Bill Redell has been inducted into 10 halls of fames. He has coached eight CIF championship teams. He's even thrown out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium before a Dodgers-Giants game.

But on Friday night, the former Oaks Christian football coach will receive one of his most humbling honors. Oaks Christian will name its football field in honor of Redell before the season opener against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

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"Bill Redell is like Tommy Lasorda for the Dodgers," Oaks Christian Athletic Director Jan Hethcock said. "Bill Redell bleeds cardinal and gold."

Redell started the Oaks Christian program from scratch in 2001 and won seven Southern Section championships. This season, he has turned over the program to former Westlake Coach Jim Benkert while becoming the director of football operations. Former players will be at Friday's game to honor the 74-year-old Redell, who has eight grandchildren and always has a quip to make people smile.

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"It's a humbling experience," Redell said.

Redell coached five years at Crespi, seven years at St. Francis and 13 at Oaks Christian, compiling a record of 238-70-3, including a 48-game win streak. He's the only coach from the San Fernando Valley to win a championship in the toughest division _ the Pac-5 (previously the Big Five).

Oaks Christian hired him to help its school gain attention, and he more than delivered.

"Kids came because of his great reputation," Hethcock said.

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Redell should enjoy every minute of Friday's activities and have people smiling every step of the way.

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