Richardson leaves for 'a great opportunity'

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Louisville assistant coach Kareem Richardson will be on the Cardinals' bench this evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But Richardson won't be on the bench at U of L after this season, accepting the head coaching position at Missouri-Kansas City. Richardson talked to Cardinal Authority about his decision to become a head coach.

Kareem Richardson felt like he was ready and when the University of Missouri-Kansas City came calling it was a job he couldn't turn down.

So after just one season as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville, Richardson is headed to UKMC as the head coach. The school will introduce him on Monday at a news conference.

"You feel like you are ready, but obviously you don't know for sure," Richardson said. "I have been in the game for 16 years and around a lot of really good coaches, so I really feel like I am ready.

"I think its time for me to take the chance."

Richardson will be on the U of L bench tonight in the NCAA Tournament opener against North Carolina A&T. He said he would stay with the Cardinals as long as they're playing in the tournament.

Richardson, who spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant at UKMC, will replace Matt Brown who was let go two weeks ago.

After leaving UKMC, Richardson was an assistant at Drake before spending one season at Xavier and then one at U of L. He has also been an assistant at Evansville, Wright State and Indiana State and takes over a program that is joining the Western Athletic Conference next season.

According to the Kansas City Star, Richardson has a five-year contract worth $250,000 a year.

"Being here at Louisville with coach (Rick) Pitino and the rest of our staff, we have great chemistry," Richardson said. "I really like everything about this place. It had to be a great opportunity for me, and that's what I feel like this is.

"It's just a great opportunity for me."

It's the third year in a row Pitino will lose an assistant to the head coaching ranks, following Manhattan coach Steve Masiello two years ago and Florida International's Richard Pitino last season.


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