Jul 14, 2011
Nolan Richardson Steps Down As Coach/GM Of Tulsa Shock

Nolan Richardson said it was simply “time to put up the whistle.”

Richardson, who resigned last Friday night as head coach and general manager of the Tulsa Shock, cited two reasons for stepping down.

“Just burning out … just burning out, the former Bowie High and Texas Western standout athlete said. We started and didn’t have the right team and it was a question of rebuilding. Plus, my wife is not feeling very good. Those two things are the main reasons. I had enough. I thought it was best just to walk away, retire.”

Certainly, Richardson has earned the right to be burned out. The 69-year-old native El Pasoan put together a brilliant coaching résumé. He began his head coaching career at his alma mater, where he guided Bowie to a 190-80 record and took the Bears to the regional finals. He coached Western Texas Junior College to a national championship in 1980, going 39-0. In 1981, Richardson coached Tulsa to the NIT championship. He coached Arkansas to the NCAA championship in 1994. He remains the only coach to win a junior college national title, the NIT and an NCAA championship.

Richardson turned Arkansas into a national power with his famed “40 minutes of hell” style of full-court defensive pressure. He took Arkansas to three Final Fours and took the Razorbacks to the Sweet 16 six times in seven years. He finished with a 508-206 record at Tulsa and Arkansas. He also coached Panama’s national team from 2005-07 and Mexico’s national team in 2007.

“I took this job thinking it was going to be three or four months a year, he said of the stop with the Shock. It turned out to be a 12-month-a-year job. I live on a golf course and I can’t play golf. Other than my charity event in El Paso, I had no time to play. I’ll be 70 in four or five months (Dec. 27). I just didn’t realize how tired I was. Living in airports wears you out. I slept for two days in a row after I resigned. I usually get up around 6 or 6:30 in the morning. I would wake up, lay down on the couch to watch TV and the next thing you know I was asleep again.”

Richardson was playing golf when he was first called and offered the job. He laughed at first, shrugging it off and telling them he would help them find someone. They insisted. They offered him a five-year contract and he said no, make it three years. That did not happen, but he said the experience was a good one.

“I have no regrets, he said. As a matter of fact, I have more of an appreciation for the women’s game. I enjoyed the year and 10 games. I enjoyed the ladies I worked with and they worked extremely hard. I just didn’t enjoy losing and it was tough because they worked so hard. I enjoyed going to practice, trying to put in the style of basketball I wanted. But I realized it would take three or four years to get a group playing that way.

“Fortunately, I was able to bring on (director of player personnel and former player) Teresa Edwards with me and she is taking over the team, Richardson added.

He has raised more than $1 million for cancer research and treatment and said he would spend more time with his foundation and still do some public speaking. Richardson, always a great athlete, had professional tryouts in football, basketball and baseball before beginning his coaching career. Now he can get back to his other sporting love — golf.

Chuckling, he said, I’ve already been hitting balls. I’ll be out there on the golf course Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

And so now, after a career that carried him to championships and a spot in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, the man can “put up the whistle” and play a little golf.

Nolan Richardson Steps Down As Coach/GM Of Tulsa Shock

El Paso Times, Bill Knight

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_18474429?source=most_viewed

Nolan Richardson said it was simply “time to put up the whistle.”

Richardson, who resigned last Friday night as head coach and general manager of the Tulsa Shock, cited two reasons for stepping down.

“Just burning out … just burning out, the former Bowie High and Texas Western standout athlete said. We started and didn’t have the right team and it was a question of rebuilding. Plus, my wife is not feeling very good. Those two things are the main reasons. I had enough. I thought it was best just to walk away, retire.”

Certainly, Richardson has earned the right to be burned out. The 69-year-old native El Pasoan put together a brilliant coaching résumé. He began his head coaching career at his alma mater, where he guided Bowie to a 190-80 record and took the Bears to the regional finals. He coached Western Texas Junior College to a national championship in 1980, going 39-0. In 1981, Richardson coached Tulsa to the NIT championship. He coached Arkansas to the NCAA championship in 1994. He remains the only coach to win a junior college national title, the NIT and an NCAA championship.

Richardson turned Arkansas into a national power with his famed “40 minutes of hell” style of full-court defensive pressure. He took Arkansas to three Final Fours and took the Razorbacks to the Sweet 16 six times in seven years. He finished with a 508-206 record at Tulsa and Arkansas. He also coached Panama’s national team from 2005-07 and Mexico’s national team in 2007.

“I took this job thinking it was going to be three or four months a year, he said of the stop with the Shock. It turned out to be a 12-month-a-year job. I live on a golf course and I can’t play golf. Other than my charity event in El Paso, I had no time to play. I’ll be 70 in four or five months (Dec. 27). I just didn’t realize how tired I was. Living in airports wears you out. I slept for two days in a row after I resigned. I usually get up around 6 or 6:30 in the morning. I would wake up, lay down on the couch to watch TV and the next thing you know I was asleep again.”

Richardson was playing golf when he was first called and offered the job. He laughed at first, shrugging it off and telling them he would help them find someone. They insisted. They offered him a five-year contract and he said no, make it three years. That did not happen, but he said the experience was a good one.

“I have no regrets, he said. As a matter of fact, I have more of an appreciation for the women’s game. I enjoyed the year and 10 games. I enjoyed the ladies I worked with and they worked extremely hard. I just didn’t enjoy losing and it was tough because they worked so hard. I enjoyed going to practice, trying to put in the style of basketball I wanted. But I realized it would take three or four years to get a group playing that way.

“Fortunately, I was able to bring on (director of player personnel and former player) Teresa Edwards with me and she is taking over the team, Richardson added.

He has raised more than $1 million for cancer research and treatment and said he would spend more time with his foundation and still do some public speaking. Richardson, always a great athlete, had professional tryouts in football, basketball and baseball before beginning his coaching career. Now he can get back to his other sporting love — golf.

Chuckling, he said, I’ve already been hitting balls. I’ll be out there on the golf course Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

And so now, after a career that carried him to championships and a spot in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, the man can “put up the whistle” and play a little golf.






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