Not too long after firing former head coach Matt Brown, the University of Missouri-Kansas City has found their man: Kareem Richardson is the men’s head basketball coach.
Richardson, 37, spent this season under Rick Pitino at Louisville, helping lead the team to a number one seed overall in the NCAA tournament and a 29-5 record.
UMKC will not be a new place for him as he was the top assistant coach for the Kangaroos during the 2007-2008 season. Before arriving in Kansas City the first time Richardson was an assistant coach at his alma mater Evansville from 2002-2007 and at Wright State and Indiana State. Richardson also made stops at Drake and Xavier before arriving at Louisville this season.
He was ranked as one of the top 25 assistant head coaches by Jason Belzer of collegeinsider.com in part because of his help in taking mid-major teams to the NCAA tournament. Richardson is also known for being a very good recruiter, something the program very much needs. He led Drake to three straight years of leading the Missouri Valley Conference in recruiting classes. This season, Richardson help Pitino land Rivals.com 29th ranked player in the country Quentin Snider and 31st ranked player Shaqquan Aaron for Louisville.
UMKC shouldn’t expect top 100 players to suddenly arrive on campus, but they should see a influx of talent into the program. Richardson has built a lot of his reputation around recruiting and has learned the game of basketball under some very successful coaches, including Pitino. For a program that has had little success in the last decade, this is a tremendous hire.