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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Margaret Richards Named New Head Women’s Basketball Coach At Jackson State University

JACKSON, Miss. | Jackson State University Vice President & Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson has named Margaret Richards as the seventh head coach of the women’s basketball program on Wednesday morning.

“I am excited to welcome Margaret Richards to Jackson State as our next head women’s basketball coach,” Robinson said.

“She is no stranger to the Southwestern Athletic Conference and success. While she has been in the conference, she has taken a program from the bottom of the standings to a contender and when you look at leaders of your program that’s what you want. Our program has been at the top of the conference for the last five years and we want to stay there, and I believe that we have brought in the right person to do just that.”

Richards, a 19-year collegiate coaching veteran comes to Jackson State from Mercer where joined the staff after an eight-year run as head coach at Alabama A&M where she paced the Bulldogs to nearly 100 wins and six appearances in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament, including a run to the semifinals of the 2019-20 event.

Alabama A&M also reeled in 13 league victories during the 2021-22 campaign on the way to a runner-up finish in the final SWAC regular season standings.

“I want to thank President Marcus Thompson and Vice President/AD Ashley Robinson for giving me this amazing opportunity to serve as the head women’s basketball coach at Jackson State University,” Richards said.

“When you look at the landscape of our sport in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the standard over the last five years has been Jackson State. I am humbled, and honored, to be given this opportunity to serve the young women of our program and the Jackson State community. I understand the expectations and can’t wait to get to work.”

During her time in Huntsville, Ala., the AAMU women’s basketball program reeled in six all-conference honors, including a pair of first-team selections. Alabama A&M turned in a trio of winning seasons with her at the helm and put together an eight-game turnaround that bridged her first and second seasons.

Richards dove into the coaching world as an assistant at Kentucky State where she played a key role in helping the Thorobreds have an 18-game turnaround across two seasons. In two years she played a pair in helping lead Kentucky State to a 19-9 clip and a fourth-place finish in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to highlight the 2006-07 campaign.

A graduate assistant coach during Louisville’s run to a 26-10 record and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, Richards was named head coach at Saint Augustine’s in time for the 2008-09 campaign and led the Falcons to a 33-24 clip across two seasons, highlighted by an 18-10 record and a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Western Division championship in 2009-10. During her time at SAU, the team had two All-CIAA and CIAA All-Rookie Team honors, while Richards was named CIAA Coach of the Week six times.

Richards took on roles as an assistant coach at both North Texas (2010-11) and Weber State (2011-12) before joining Western Kentucky prior to the 2012-13 campaign. During her time at WKU, Lady Toppers compiled a 76-25 (.752) clip and made three postseason appearances, including berths in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 NCAA Tournament. WKU carried the nation’s 11th-best field goal percentage on the way to a 30-5 record in Richards’s final season on staff.

Following WKU, Richards was hired on as assistant coach at Clemson in time for the 2015-16 season before being named as Alabama A&M’s fifth head coach on June 2, 2016.

Richards played in 117 games (69 starts) at Nebraska from 1999-2004 and was voted as NU’s best defensive player as a senior after averaging 9.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. She highlighted her playing career with five double-doubles, a Big 12 Player of the Week honor, and a trio of all-tournament team selections.

A press conference has been scheduled for Monday, May 6 at 11 a.m. at the Lee Williams AAC.

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