Original article (Margaret Richards Joins Women’s Basketball as Assistant Coach) on Mercer University’s athletic website mercerbears.com.

Margaret Richards, a 19-year collegiate coaching veteran who spent the last eight years at the reigns of the women’s basketball program at Alabama A&M, has joined the staff at Mercer as an assistant coach, newly-named head coach Michelle Clark Heard announced Wednesday.

Richards will begin her seventh season on the sidelines alongside Clark-Heard in 2024-25. She served as an assistant coach during Clark-Heard’s time at both Kentucky State and Western Kentucky, while also tackling a stint as a graduate assistant coach on the 2007-08 Louisville squad. She was also a player for Clark-Heard amid her stint as an assistant coach at Nebraska.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Margaret for 20-plus years, and I am very excited to welcome her to the Mercer family,” Clark-Heard said. “We have won a lot of games together and coached some very talented players over the years. Her passion and enthusiasm for young people, as well as the game, is very contagious, and the relationships and connections that she has across the country, as well as in the southeast region, will help impact our program immediately. I can’t wait to hit the ground running with her.”

Richards treks to Middle Georgia following an 8-year run as head coach at Alabama A&M where she paced the Bulldogs to nearly 100 wins and six appearances in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament, including a run to the semifinals of the 2019-20 event. Alabama A&M also reeled in 13 league victories during the 2021-22 campaign on the way to a runner-up finish in the final SWAC regular season standings.

During her time in Huntsville, Ala., the AAMU women’s basketball program reeled in six all-conference honors, including a pair of first team laurels. Alabama A&M turned in a trio of winning seasons with her at the helm, and put together an 8-game turnaround that bridged her first and second seasons in northern Alabama.

Richards dove into the coaching world as an assistant at Kentucky State where she played a key role in helping Clark-Heard pace the Thorobreds on an 18-game turnaround across two seasons. The duo closed out their 2-year stint in Frankfort, Ky., by leading KSU to a 19-9 clip and a fourth-place finish in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to highlight the 2006-07 campaign.

A graduate assistant coach during Louisville’s run to a 26-10 record and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, Richards was named head coach at Saint Augustine’s in time for the 2008-09 campaign and led the Falcons to a 33-24 clip across two seasons, highlighted by an 18-10 record and a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Western Division championship in 2009-10. Across Richards’ tenure in Raleigh, N.C., SAU raked in two All-CIAA and CIAA All-Rookie Team honors, while Richards was named CIAA Coach of the Week six times.

Richards took on roles as an assistant coach at both North Texas (2010-11) and Weber State (2011-12) before rejoining Clark-Head at Western Kentucky prior to the 2012-13 campaign. In Clark-Heard’s first three seasons as a head coach in Bowling Green, Ky., the Lady Toppers compiled a 76-25 (.752) clip and made three postseason appearances, including berths in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 NCAA Tournament. WKU carried the nation’s 11th-best field goal percentage on the way to a 30-5 record in Richards final season on staff.

Following that incredulous run at WKU, Richards was hired on as assistant coach at Clemson in time for the 2015-16 season before being named as Alabama A&M’s fifth head coach on June 2, 2016.

Richards played in 117 games (69 starts) at Nebraska from 1999-2004, and was voted as NU’s best defensive player as a senior after averaging 9.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She highlighted her playing career with five double-doubles, a Big 12 Player of the Week honor and a trio of all-tournament team selections.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Richards earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Nebraska in 2003.