Nolan Richardson Looking To Return?
What would you do if you were a mid-major sized college looking to fill a head-coaching vacancy and a former coach with a National Championship under his belt was interested in leading your basketball program? In most cases, you’d jump at the chance to hire such a coach, but what if the coach was Nolan Richardson and school in question was Arkansas State?
Richardson was the previous head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team he took to two National Championship games, winning the 1994 contest against the Duke Blue Devils (thanks to a high-arcing, Scotty Thurman shot). However in 2002, Coach Richardson infamously clashed with Athletic Director Frank Broyles; a fight that led to Richardson losing his job at Arkansas. Richardson answered by filing a lawsuit, saying Arkansas used racially discriminatory practices when it got rid of him.
This made for some entertaining reading about the Richardson/Broyles imbroglio, a fight that culminated with Richardson losing his case. Since these events, Richardson has not coached another college basketball game, although he has coached for the Panamanian and Mexican national teams.
In 2007, Broyles retired from his position at Arkansas, a moment that couldn’t pass by without some words of reflection from Richardson:
Fast forwarding to today and we learn the administration from Arkansas State has been in talks with Richardson about filling their recently-vacated head coaching job, something that certainly interests the former Razorbacks coach:
“I will be looking at several different things, and if I find what I think is the right situation, I’ll pray about it and come to a decision,” Richardson said. “Maybe you’ll see me out there on the court again.”
Would such a move put even more pressure on new Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey or have the Razorbacks faithful fully recovered from Richardson’s stay in Fayetteville?