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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Margaret Richards wants to maintain standard of ‘championships’ as new Jackson State coach

Margaret Richards stood at the podium at the Lee Williams Athletic and Assembly Center Monday morning, beaming at the warm welcome she received from the Jackson State University community after Ashley Robinson officially introduced her as the seventh head coach in the women’s basketball program’s history.

After taking it all in, Richards, who previously coached for eight years at Alabama A&M before accepting the JSU position, quickly got down to business, stating her goals and objectives for a program that will look to maintain its aura of success after the departure of Tomekia Reed to Charlotte in late April.

“This is a true blessing and a dream for me to lead this first-class program, and the support is unmatched,” Richards said. “My vision is to lead our young ladies to championships on and off the court. I want to pay it forward like someone did for me when I was younger.”

Richards led the Alabama A&M women for eight seasons until her resignation shortly after the conclusion of the SWAC tournament to become an assistant at Mercer (Ga.) University. When Reed left Jackson for Charlotte, Athletic Director Ashley Robinson moved swiftly to fill the position, and Richards was his choice.

“As we all know, recruiting is essential,” Richards announced as her priority. “I have hit the ground running and started the process. I am confident that my staff and I will bring the talent in to be successful.”

As an extension of that, she also said that “taking care of home” would be key, emphasizing locking down Mississippi recruits both at the high school and college level through the transfer portal.

Richards said the Tigers would be structured but up-tempo offensively and switch between man and zone defenses when the situation calls for it.

“We want to place our young ladies in the best positions possible so they can be successful,” Richards explained.

When Robinson contacted her about the head coaching vacancy, Richards thought about one of her favorite quotes that fired up the JSU alumni, boosters, and fans in attendance.

“Don’t be afraid to start over. This time, you’re not starting from scratch; you’re starting from experience.”

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