Towson University recently announced that Diane Richardson is the new head coach of the women’s basketball team. The former Riverdale Baptist School girls basketball coach has local ties to the area and is looking to improve the Tigers program for years to come.

“It is an honor to be named the new head coach of the Towson University women’s basketball program,” Richardson told the AFRO. “I’ve lived in this community most of my life and witnessed the tremendous growth in the university and the athletics program.

The new women’s basketball head coach for Towson University is Diane Richardson. (Photo by Kanji Takeno)

I’ve celebrated with teams in the past years as a community supporter, but I am now proud to call this ‘my university,’ and I look forward to adding to the tradition of community and championships.”

Richardson enjoyed considerable success leading the Riverdale Crusaders for two stints from 2001-2006 and 2009-2012 at the school located in Upper Marlboro, Md. During that period, Richardson won five National High School Championships including earning the National High School Coach of the Year honor in 2005.

She has a 234-32 record with the school and left a lasting impression on the student-athletes that played for her. “Coach Rich is a mother, a teacher, a coach and someone you just have the utmost respect for,” Laurel native and Towson alumna Dominique Johnson, who played under Richardson at Riverdale Baptist, told the AFRO. “When she became my head coach, she took me in as if I was one of her own. She made things possible for me. I remember always going to practice and having 15 Division I coaches lined up to see us practice because they knew what type of product she was putting out on the court.

“Her becoming the head coach at my alma mater will be an amazing thing to witness. She’ll take what she has and groom them as elite players into women of our community. This will be the missing piece in a beautiful puzzle.” Johnson eventually became a part of Towson’s 1,000 Point Club at the guard position.

Richardson will bring 16 years of coaching experience to the program. She has spent time as an assistant at the University of Maryland and American University, and proved to be an excellent assistant coach at George Washington University. She most recently served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at West Virginia University.

“I’m sure Diane is thrilled to be coming back home,” University of Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese told the AFRO. “I’m happy for her and her biggest supporter, her husband, Larry. “Towson is getting someone with tremendous local connections that should help them for years to come. It’s an exciting challenge to move into that head coach’s chair at the college level, and I know Diane will put her best into it.

Richardson helped George Washington win a pair of Atlantic 10 regular season and conference tournament championships, led Maryland to a 33-4 record and won West Virginia’s first Big 12 Conference Championship last season. The best is yet to come for Towson with Richardson in the driver’s seat.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Diane to Towson,” Towson Director of Athletics Tim Leonard told the AFRO. “She has deep ties to the area, and I believe that will go a long way to help us further our vision to become Greater Baltimore’s premier collegiate brand. Her ability to recruit and develop talent, particularly in the DMV area, will help her build a winning program at Towson.

“I was extremely impressed with our pool of candidates for this position, but Diane separated herself through her experience winning at all levels and the strong degree of professionalism that you would expect from someone with her business background. I can’t wait to see her help our Tigers achieve that success as well.”