WHEELING, W.VA. (WHEELING UNIVERSITY)- Charleston native and University of Central Missouri Assistant Chris Richardson was introduced as the 11th Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Wheeling University in a press conference Monday morning.
Richardson spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach with the Mules. During his tenure in Warrensburg, Central Missouri went 104-73 and made an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament. This past season, UCM snapped defending-National Champion Northwest Missouri State’s 46-game winning-streak and were the only teams to defeat the Bearcats during the 2019-20 season.
Richardson helped guide the Mules to a 21-9 record and a 13-6 mark in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletes Association (MIAA) in his first season as a full-time assistant in 2015-16. The Mules finished second in the regular season conference standings and had a runner-up finish in the MIAA Tournament.
In six seasons at Central Missouri, the Mules had three seasons with 20 wins or more, made the NCAA postseason once, played in the MIAA Championship game and made the MIAA Tournament four times.
He arrived at Central Missouri at the start of the 2014-15 season after spending two seasons as the head assistant at Division II Delta State in Cleveland, Mississippi. Richardson helped engineer one of the nation’s most impressive two-year turnarounds, taking a program that won just six games during the 2011-12 season to winning 38 games over the next two seasons, culminating with a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament South Region Finals in 2014.
As recruiting coordinator, he signed 2014 and 2015 Gulf South Conference (GSC) Freshmen of the Year, 2014 GSC Player of the Year Willie Readus and the 2015 State Farm College Slam Dunk Champion Laquavious Cotton.
Richardson is familiar with the landscape of the Mountain East Conference (MEC). He served as an assistant coach for one season at both Fairmont State (2011-12) and the University of Charleston (2010-11).
Richardson got his first coaching job at Arkansas Tech University in 2009, where he worked alongside current Central Missouri Head Coach Doug Karleskint. He helped the Wonder Boys to a 30-2 record and number one national ranking during the 2009-10 season.
In 13 seasons of college coaching, Richardson has been a part of teams that have an overall record of 181-114, which includes five 20-win seasons, two conference championships, three NCAA tournament appearances and one conference tournament championship. During that span he has coached 22 all-conference players and three All-Americans.
Richardson began his career as an intern with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he worked for General Manager Chris Wallace. With the Grizzlies, Richardson was responsible for assisting Wallace and the basketball operations staff in preparations for the NBA Draft and summer free agency period. He also assisted the Grizzlies media relations staff with production of the team’s media guide and content for Grizzlies.com.
Richardson is a 2008 graduate of West Virginia University. He earned his master’s degree in Kinesiology from Central Missouri with a concentration in Sport Management. Richardson and his wife, Katie, are parents to a son, Cory.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT CHRIS RICHARDSON
“Congratulations to Chris. He’s certainly paid his dues. He worked our camps numerous times over the years and talked about being a college coach. He was an assistant coach at various places and did a great job recruiting. It’s great to have West Virginia natives head up our West Virginia colleges and universities.” – Bob Huggins, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, West Virginia University
“This is a long time coming for Chris. He is ready and prepared to lead a program, and I’m excited for him and his family. The Wheeling community and alumni should be very excited about this hire.” – Jerrod Calhoun, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Youngstown State University
“This is exciting news for Wheeling University! Chris has prepared a long time for this opportunity, and he is ready to lead a college program. He will bring energy and enthusiasm to the Wheeling community. Chris has a passion for the game of basketball that will resonate with players and throughout the hills of the great state of West Virginia.” – Chris Wallace, former Boston Celtics & Memphis Grizzlies General Manager
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