On Wednesday, Temple University held a news conference to formally welcome Diane Richardson to the Temple Athletics family. Richardson becomes the 21st head coach in program history, replacing Tonya Cardoza.
Coach Richardson is well aware of the past success of Temple women’s basketball, and she wants to bring that winning culture back:
“Temple has a history of success, don’t get it twisted, they have a history of success. They didn’t bring me here to do anything new. They brought me here to take us back to the tradition of winning.”
Richardson was formerly the women’s head basketball coach at Towson University for the last five seasons. Richardson’s teams posted an overall record of 80-66. The Tigers would make two postseason appearances in that five year span, with a CAA Conference Championship in 2018-19.
Towson would also make its only NCAA Tournament Appearance in that same year, and a WNIT Tournament Appearance this past season. In the previous 49 years of the WBB program in Towson pre-Richardson, the Tigers would only make the postseason once.
Under Richardson, Towson would also have their first, and thus far only selection in the WNBA Draft, Guard Kionna Jeter.
Before her five year run at Towson, Richardson was an assistant coach at West Virginia from 2016-17. Richardson also had collegiate coaching stints at George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and American University.
In her eight years as a head coach at the high school level, Richardson led Riverdale Baptist High School to five National Championships. Richardson also ranked in USA Today’s Top 10 in five of those eight seasons.
A New Era in Temple WBB
Richardson joins Stan Drayton (football) and Linda Hampton-Keith (volleyball) as the newest head coaching hires in Temple Athletics. Temple President Jason Wingard, and VP/Arthur Johnson have not been shy about their desires to win championships.
Following the departure of former Head Coach Tonya Cardoza, Vice President Johnson made the reason very clear as to why the university was moving in a different direction.
“After evaluating the program over the course of this season, I feel that it is time for a change in direction. We expect to be a perennial postseason team and we will look for the right coach to elevate the program to that status.”
Cardoza was the leader of women’s basketball squad for the past 14 seasons. Cardoza would amass a total record of 251-188 with the cherry and white. However, Temple Women’s Basketball has failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the last five seasons. Temple Women’s Basketball hasn’t won a NCAAT game since 2011.
Another key departure for Temple Women’s Basketball this offseason is that of Mia Davis. The Owls’ all time leading scorer has declared for the WNBA Draft. In her 5 years as an Owl, Davis finished with 2,376 points, 877 made field goals, 546 made free throws, and 140 games played. Those are all school records for Davis.
In college, Richardson was a track star, winning the 1979 NCAA Regionals in the 200 and 400 meter races and qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team.
Before her coaching days, Richardson made waves in the business world. She was a founder of American Security Corporation, as well as holding a corporate position with Bank of America. The former COO was recognized as a top female executive in 1995.
Richardson holds a bachelors degree in psychology and sociology from Frostburg State. Richardson also holds a masters in management from Central Michigan.
Coming from a background of success in academia and in corporate America, Coach Richardson knows the importance of work in the class room.
“You know, on and off the court, Temple has a tremendous amount of resources. It is a high academic institution, and they have teams that win. My first nod was the academics, because I think that’s the foundation for our young men and women and student athletes. The academic part of it was very appealing to me.”