May 5, 2016
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey announced the hiring of Diane Richardson as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator on Thursday. Richardson spent the last four seasons as an assistant for George Washington University.
“Diane brings a tremendous amount of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level,” coach Carey said. “She will not only prepare our young ladies for basketball, but also for life with her business background. Her expertise in recruiting in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area will be a huge plus for our program. We are excited to have Diane here at West Virginia University.”
“I am excited to join the staff here at West Virginia University,” Richardson said. “Mike Carey is a proven winner with over 600 career victories. He is a tremendous coach and I look forward to working with him, the rest of the staff and the student-athletes.”
While at George Washington, Richardson’s primary responsibilities with the Colonials include working with the wing players, as well as recruiting, player relations, community relations and on-floor coaching.
The Colonials improved their win total in each of her first three seasons at GW. After helping the Colonials to their first A-10 Championship game victory since 2008 in her first season in Foggy Bottom, the squad went one step farther in 2013-14, posting its most wins (23) since 2008, tying for second in the Atlantic 10 standings and advancing to the A-10 semifinals and the third round of the WNIT, also earning its first postseason victories since 2008.
In 2014-15, Richardson was on the sidelines as the Colonials set a program record for victories (29), won the A-10 regular-season and tournament titles and earned their first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2008.
In her last season at George Washington, Richardson helped guide the Colonials to another A-10 regular-season and tournament title en route their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Richardson recruited and developed All-Americans Jonquel Jones and Caira Washington. Jones became the first GW player selected in the WNBA first round with her sixth overall selection by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016.
Prior to her arrival at GW, Richardson logged over 20 years of coaching experience, including two previous years at the collegiate level. She spent the 2006-07 season at American University, helping the Eagles reach the Patriot League title game, then was on the sidelines at the University of Maryland in 2007-08 when the Terps earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight.
While at American, Richardson was responsible for monitoring the team’s academics, and the Eagles posted the highest team GPA in the Patriot League. At Maryland, she worked with the perimeter players, including All-Americans and current WNBA standouts Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver.
Most of Richardson’s success on the sidelines, however, came as head coach of Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where she coached 12 All-Americans and 42 Division I student-athletes. In her eight years at the helm, both before and after her previous stints at the collegiate level, Richardson guided the Crusaders to a 234-32 overall record and five national championships.
In 2012, the Crusaders were national champions of both the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) and the National High School Invitational (NHSI) and earned a No. 6 ranking in the final POWERADE FAB 50 Girls’ Basketball national rankings, and Richardson was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) District High School Coach of the Year. In addition, she was chosen to coach in the WBCA All-America game in Denver in March.
In the summer of 2011, Richardson was one of four coaches to tour Russia with 20 high school boys and girls basketball players as part of an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with USA Basketball.
Before making her first jump to the collegiate ranks, Richardson was named the 2005 Black Coaches Association National Coach of the Year after leading the Crusaders to a No. 2 national ranking by USA Today. In addition, she guided Riverdale Baptist to the NACA national title in 2006, en route to garnering WBCA Regional Coach of the Year honors. Her squads won the 2003 and 2004 Association of Christian Schools International national crown and were runners-up in 2002. Moreover, she was the head coach of the USA Red Team which won the bronze medal at the 2005 Youth Development Festival.
Richardson was the executive director and coach of the Beltway Lady Cougars AAU team in Lanham, Md., from 1991-2000. The Lady Cougars were voted the No. 1 girls basketball program in the nation and reached the AAU National Elite Eight four times.
Earning her master’s degree in management and finance from Central Michigan University in 1984, Richardson has an extensive background in business management. She founded RCI Financial in Lanham, Maryland, in 1984, serving as president and CEO of the company until 2003, as well as American Security Companies in Lanham in 2008, where she served as Chief Operating Officer. In 1995, Richardson was named Fox 5’s Woman of the Year.
Richardson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Frostburg State University in 1980, lettering in both basketball and track and field. She was the NCAA’s regional field goal percentage leader as a freshman in 1976 and was the 1979 NCAA regional champion in the 200 and 400 meter races, earning a spot as a qualifier on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which did not compete in the Games.
Richardson and her husband, Larry, have four children – Dana, Larry “Donnie” II, Jonquel and Michael.