On Monday afternoon, the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced that it had poached Louisville assistant basketball coach Kareem Richardson to be the head coach of the men's team. Well, poached might be a strong word because Richardson has spent his career hopping around from job to job.
Richardson's travels have seen him help guide some fairly high-profile programs as well as a couple of reclamation projects like UMKC. Before working under Rick Pitino at Louisville, Richardson, 38, was an assistant at Xavier on a team that went to the Sweet 16. This will be his second stint with the Roos, after spending the 2007-08 season as a UMKC assistant.
In a release announcing the hire, UMKC chancellor Leo Morton and director of athletics Tim Hall said Richardson is an expert recruiter who can revive the Roos, who went 8-24 last season under former coach Matt Brown, who was fired after the season.
"He has strong relationships with high school and AAU coaches here and throughout the Midwest. He brings a high basketball pedigree in the areas of recruiting, on-the-floor coaching, strategy and preparation, and service to young men. Kareem is an educator, and knows what it takes to be successful in the mid-major ranks," Hall said in the release.
Richardson's other career stops include assistant positions at the University of Indianapolis (1997-99), Indiana State (1999-2002), Wright State (2002-03), Evansville University (2003-07) and Drake University.
His hiring is the third part of an overhauling of the men's basketball program. Earlier this year, the school announced that it was leaving the Summit League to join the once-mighty Western Athletic Conference next season, and the team is moving off campus to play home games at Municipal Auditorium.