INDIANAPOLIS — Standing on the sideline while his employer plays a football game in Houston or Dallas doesn’t qualify Steve Randall as a product of the Lone Star State.
It’s here his nickname of three-plus decades, Tex, is misleading.
Randall, a two-sport standout at Whiteland High School in the early 1980s and now director of security for the Indianapolis Colts, earned it as a left-handed tribute to former heavyweight boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb, who, as it turns out, is a native Texan.
Neither Tex will ever be categorized as a pushover.
At 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, Randall, a former sergeant for the Indianapolis Police Department, oversees every aspect regarding the safety of key personnel within the franchise, be it owner Jim Irsay and members of his family or Colts players.
Randall spent many seasons escorting Peyton Manning back to the locker room following games — home and away. The same is true with the quarterback’s successors, including Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and, starting soon, the newly acquired Carson Wentz.
“It’s dependent on the situation, who’s around and what kind of crowd has gathered,” said Randall, 55. “I mean, look, at the end of the day there are certain players that garner more attention than others, though they’re all good players.
“The quarterback position always seems to bring out … the crazies. I’m just observing what other people are doing and making sure folks are staying out of the way. It’s making sure the path from A to B to the locker room is pretty clear, and making sure no one is running up behind us. You’ve got your head on a swivel.”
During the offseason, Randall oversees approximately 10 security employees over the various Colts properties; that number grows to between 20 to 25 people when the season kicks starts.
His wide-ranging list of responsibilities during the latter includes working with the opposing team’s security to ensure as safe of an environment as possible for both teams, their owners, players and other key personnel.
More often than not, he’s on the Colts sideline — home and away — or in the locker room.
Randall started his involvement with the franchise on a part-time basis in 2002, expanding his responsibilities to fulltime in 2017 after retiring from IPD. He possesses, in the opinion of his former baseball and junior varsity basketball coach, Butch Zike, the three qualities necessary to excel in such a line of work.
In no particular order, that would be an intimidating physical presence, a don’t-mess-with-me edge to his demeanor upon meeting someone and excellent people skills once the ice is broken.
“It’s just understanding the personalities that you deal with on an every-day basis. In this building, it’s probably just knowing how to handle everybody,” Randall said. “I guess 30 years in law enforcement helps me with that.
“I would like to think I’m pretty decent at what I do. I get things done, and for the most part I get along with everybody. Everybody gets a fair shake, and I’m not afraid to talk to anybody. I’ve lasted a long time working for a great organization. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than this organization.”
One of the more memorable situations occurred the night of August 24, 2019, when Luck was attempting to leave the field after a 27-17 exhibition game against Chicago.
It was Randall paving the way for Luck to get back to the team’s locker room as the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd showered him with boos (Only moments earlier, the news had broken that Luck, then a few weeks shy of his 30th birthday, planned to retire from professional football).
“I don’t remember, really, what (the crowd) was saying. We were just going to get him in the locker room because you won’t meet a better dude,” Randall said. “Just a great guy.”
Before he was known as Tex, Randall grew up around athletics, starring for Whiteland’s basketball and baseball programs.
An enforcer on the hardwood as the Warriors’ power forward from 1981-84, Randall eclipsed 1,000 career points despite playing on Zike’s JV squad the first five games of his sophomore season. In the spring, he brought his low-80-mile-per-hour fastball to the baseball field.
“Steve was a student-athlete who was driven by success,” said Zike, who met Randall when the latter was an eighth-grader and remains good friends with him. “He was highly competitive. Put him in clutch situations and he came through.
“Even then, he had policeman or security written all over him. I have a lot of respect for what Steve has done with his life. I really am very proud of him.”