Richardson looks to instill winning culture

Temple University Athletic Director and Vice President Arthur Johnson and President Jason Wingard formally introduced Diane Richardson as the women’s basketball head coach.

Temple University President Jason Wingard (left) stands with Diane Richardson, Temple University’s new women’s basketball head coach, and Arthur Johnson, Athletic Director and Vice President, at Richardson's formal introduction in the Fox-Gittis Room at the Liacouras Center on April 6. | ZAMANI FEELINGS / COURTESY

Diane Richardson was formally introduced as Temple University’s new women’s basketball head coach by Athletic Director and Vice President Arthur Johnson and President Jason Wingard Wednesday morning in the Fox-Gittis Room at the Liacouras Center.

“I’ve eyed this program for a long, long time,” Richardson said. “But you can’t get anywhere unless they call you. Once I got that call, I was really elated. It was a goal of mine and I was just happy to get the call and happy to go through the process.”

Richardson led Towson to two postseason appearances — the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Championship and their first NCAA Tournament berth in program history in 2019. 

After Temple let go former head coach Tonya Cardoza on March 22, Johnson and a search committee — including Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director Jessica Reo and Associate Director of Athletic Training Kevin Addison — began an extensive interviewing process to find a coach that would bring a winning culture. 

Johnson also reached out to Dawn Staley, who coached Temple from 2000-08, and won her second NCAA Championship with the University of South Carolina this season, about potential candidates and what he should look for in the next coach. 

Staley referred to Richardson as the “Queen of the DMV” because of her connections in the Washington D.C. metro area and said she would be a key representation of Temple’s culture. 

Before her five seasons at Towson, Richardson served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at West Virginia University from 2016-17, George Washington University from 2012-16, the University of Maryland from 2007-08 and American University from 2006-07. 

She also has eight years of head coaching experience at the high school level. Richardson led Riverdale Baptist High School in Maryland to five National Championships and was named National High School Coach of the Year in 2005. 

Richardson met with the team in person this morning prior to her introductory press conference. She also had a private conversation with Owls graduate student guard Jalynn Holmes, who played on Towson’s 2018-19 CAA Championship team, about the expectations at Temple.

“That’s going to be crucial with her experience,” Richardson said. “Helping the younger players understand how important it is to win.”

Richardson has five values she wants to instill into Temple’s program. She uses the acronym HABIT: honesty, accountability, branding, integrity, and teamwork. 

With Mia Davis, who was Temple’s all-time leading scorer, no longer in the program, Richardson hopes to create an equal opportunity offense, meaning she wants each player to ‌contribute the offense consistently. 

“Everybody is going to have that same opportunity to score,” Richardson said. “I am not a half-court type coach — I am an up-tempo coach.”

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