DALLAS — Already a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, former Arkansas and Tulsa men’s coach Nolan Richardson will join another family of basketball royalty as he was named one of 10 members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2014, announced on Monday at the Final Four in North Texas.
Joining Richardson in the 2014 Class is Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond and NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams.
The 72-year-old Rich-ardson couldn’t share the moment with daughter Yvonne Richardson and son Nolan Richardson III. His daughter died of leukemia at 15, and his son and former assistant coach was found dead at his home in Tulsa two years ago at the age of 47.
Richardson also remembered several Texas Western teammates who had died.
“I know they would be so happy and delighted,” Richardson said. “I ask the good Lord to give them the message that things are good and I’ve done all right.”
Richardson began his coaching career in 1968 at El Paso Bowie High School. In 1978, Richardson was named coach at Western Texas College and led the Westerners to the NJCAA championship in 1980.
On year later, Richardson took over the Goden Hurricane program and put the program on the national map, guiding Tulsa to the 1981 NIT championship, becoming the first African-American coach to win that tournament.
During his tenure at Tulsa, Richardson’s teams won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles in 1984 and 1985, along with the MVC Tournament championships in 1982 and 1984. He had a 119-37 record while at Tulsa.
In 1985, Richardson was named the coach at Arkansas, replacing Eddie Sutton, who was among the finalists not elected to the hall, and would stay for 17 seasons. In his first season, the Razorbacks finished 12-16.