TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler Junior College released a statement Thursday about the death of one of their legendary student athletes and coaches:
From Tyler Junior College:
One of the giants of Apache Athletics, Herb Richardson, has passed away. Richardson was 93 years old.
After graduating from Livingston High School in 1945 and serving two years in the United States Army, Richardson began a long and storied history at Tyler Junior College. Recruited by legendary coach Floyd Wagstaff, Richardson would play two years of basketball for Tyler, earning All-American honors in 1948 and leading the Apaches to a National Championship in 1949. He continued his career at the University of Houston, where he would be named All-Conference both years and go on to earn a Bachelor's of Science Degree and Master's of Physical Education.
Richardson then embarked on a legendary coaching career, starting at Mt. Pleasant High School where he went 55-9 over two seasons. In 1952, he would take the head job at Van and lead them to a 126-24 record before leaving to return to Tyler Junior College and serve as assistant coach for Wagstaff.
When Tyler Junior College started a women's basketball program in 1975, Richardson became their first coach and led the Apaches to a 236-47 record in eight seasons. In 1979 he led Tyler to a second place finish at the national tournament and was named the National Coach of the Year. He would be named the National Coach of the Year again in 1983.
Richardson was later inducted to the Tyler Junior College Sports Circle of Honor as part of its inaugural class in 1995. He was also awarded the Apache Spirit Award in 2004.
Richardson married his wife Joann, who he met at Tyler Junior College, on June 3, 1952 and had four children Mike, Brady, Linda and Jesse who all graduated from Tyler Junior College.
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Richardson. He was an absolute giant of Apache Athletics as a player, coach and mentor, and signified everything that is right about our beloved institution,” said Tyler Junior College Athletic Director Kevin Vest. “His love for and dedication to Tyler Junior College will be greatly missed. On behalf of the Tyler Junior College community we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Joann and their family.”