The Nolan Richardson game plan was aptly coined “40 Minutes of Hell” and, for his Arkansas teams of the Nineties, his philosophy of defense first translated into three NCAA Final Fours and one national championship for the Razorbacks. Fast-break basketball, coupled with full-court pressure, spelled success at every stop for the old-school coach. At Western Texas College, he won the junior college national championship. At Tulsa, the NIT championship. Richardson-led teams played hard and smart, helping the conscientious coach to more than 500 wins at the collegiate level. The Razorbacks also won nine conference championships under Richardson, including a run of three consecutive years from 1989 to 1991 where Arkansas won both the SWC regular season and tournament titles. Fluent in Spanish, and always looking for a new challenge, Richardson later coached the Panamanian and Mexican national teams. The only coach to win NIT, NJCCA, and NCAA Division I titles, Richardson was more than X’s and O’s. He was a voice for minority coaches, an advocate for his student-athletes, and a model citizen in every community he served.
BornDecember 27, 1941 El Paso, TX
CollegeWestern Texas College Tulsa Arkansas
Professional CareerTulsa Shock
COACH OF THE YEAR
WESTERN TEXAS COLLEGE
1990, 1994, 1995