Jim Richards is the former men’s basketball head coach at Western Kentucky University, coaching the team for seven seasons from 1971 to 1978. He was inducted into the Western Kentucky University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
Richards was born in rural Adair County, Kentucky, and played basketball for one year at Adair County High School. He was recruited to play baseball at Western by Coach E. A. Diddle (better known as the basketball coach). Diddle got Richards into officiating high school basketball. After graduation, Richards was hired as head basketball coach at Auburn High School. He went from there to Glasgow High, where he coached the Scotties to a state championship in 1968.
Richards returned to Western as an assistant the following year, when an opening occurred on John Oldham’s staff after Gene Rhodes left to coach the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. When Oldham left the sidelines to become athletic director, Richards became head coach for the 1971-1972 season.
His overall record at Western was 102-84. His Hilltopper teams won two regular season Ohio Valley Conference championships, plus two tournament championships. The Toppers made the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament twice, with an overall record of one win and two losses.
After stepping down as head basketball coach, Richards coached the men’s golf team. One of his recruits was Kenny Perry from nearby Franklin, Kentucky. Perry went on to play on the PGA Tour.
^ a b Waggener, Ed (October 16, 2005). “Jim Richards inducted into WKU Athletic Hall of Fame”. Columbia Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
^ Sports-Reference.com: Jim Richards
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers basketball head coaches
J. L. Arthur (1914–1916)
No team (1916–1921)
L. T. Smith (1921–1922)
Edgar Diddle (1922–1964)
John Oldham (1964–1971)
Jim Richards (1971–1978)
Gene Keady (1978–1980)
Clem Haskins (1980–1986)
Murray Arnold (1986–1990)
Ralph Willard (1990–1994)
Matt Kilcullen (1994–1997)
Ron Brown & Al Seibert # (1997)
Dennis Felton (1998–2003)
Darrin Horn (2003–2008)
Ken McDonald (2008–2012)
Ray Harper (2012–2016)
Rick Stansbury (2016– )
Pound sign (#) denotes interim head coach.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers athletic directors
Edgar Diddle (1922–1965)
Ted Hornback (1965–1971)
John Oldham (1971–1986)
Jimmy Feix (1986