Nolan Richardson

Former Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson speaks at halftime of the game against Ole Miss on March 2, during a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Razorbacks winning the 1994 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

UA Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz requested Wednesday that the UA System Board of Trustees rename the basketball court in Bud Walton Arena after former Razorbacks men’s basketball coach Nolan Richardson, who led the team to their first and only NCAA Championship win, according to a UA press release.

The request to rename the court after Richardson follows a resolution from the Arkansas State Legislature filed Wednesday and two resolutions from Associated Student Government senators that were put forth this semester and last spring.

Steinmetz thinks Richardson is a Razorback legend and also an important figure in college basketball, he said in the press release.

"In his 17 years at the UofA, he not only led the Razorbacks to unprecedented success, but also used his position in college basketball to help change the world around him,” Steinmetz said. “As the first African-American head coach in the Southwest Conference, he was a trailblazer helping to provide opportunities for many others to follow in his footsteps."

The announcement also follows the 25th anniversary of Richardson’s 1994 NCAA Championship win, which Razorback Athletics officials celebrated last week with a ceremony during halftime of the March 2 game against Ole Miss.

Trustees will consider Steinmetz’s proposal in their meeting March 27-28, according to the press release.

Richardson became the head coach for the Hogs in 1985, implementing his coaching style known as “40 Minutes of Hell.” In 17 seasons, Richardson compiled an overall record of 389-169, making him the winningest coach in Arkansas history.

Richardson’s coaching career at Arkansas came to a close when he accused then Athletic Director Frank Broyles of racism, after other coaches received bonuses and contract extensions and he did not. Following his firing, Richardson filed a lawsuit against the UofA stating that he was fired due to racism and bias against him.

During his career at Arkansas, he led the team to three Final Fours, and two national championship appearances. Richardson’s team won the national championship in 1994, the only NCAA championship in Arkansas basketball history, against the Duke University Blue Devils. Richardson is the only head coach to win a junior college championship, a National Invitation Tournament championship and the NCAA championship.

 

Nick Bravo was sports editor for The Arkansas Traveler during the spring of 2019.

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