Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nolan Richardson (b. December 27, 1941 in El Paso, Texas) was a college basketball coach at the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas. He won the NCAA title with the University of Arkansas in 1994.
Richardson played college ball at Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, playing his senior year under the school's new coach, future Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. Richardson began his coaching career at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas. He then moved to Western Texas Junior College, where he won the national junior college championship in 1980. He was the head coach at Tulsa from 1981 to 1985, leading Tulsa to the NIT championship in 1981. In 1985 Richardson became the head coach at the University of Arkansas, where he gained national recognition.
Richardson went to the Final Four three times at Arkansas, losing to Duke in the semifinals in 1990, winning the tournament in 1994, and losing to UCLA in the finals in 1995. He was named the national coach of the year in 1994. His teams typically played an uptempo game with intense pressure defense - a style Richardson called "40 Minutes of Hell." He was the winningest coach in Arkansas history, compiling a 390-170 record in 17 seasons. He is the only head coach to win a junior college championship, the NIT, and the NCAA tournament.
In February 2002, Richardson spoke out against the administration at the University of Arkansas and its fans. He claimed that he was being mistreated because he was black, and challenged athletic director Frank Broyles to buy out the remainder of his contract. Shortly thereafter, Arkansas dismissed Richardson as head coach. In December 2002, Richardson filed a lawsuit against the University, the Board of Trustees, and the Razorback Foundation, claiming racial discrimination. The lawsuit was dismissed in July 2004.
Richarson was raised in El Paso's "Segundo Barrio" or "Second Ward."
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