Richardson is climbing the coaching latter very quickly. He got his first job as an assistant coach back in 2009 when Randy Edsall hired him to coach his running backs at UConn. After two seasons there, Al Golden hired him to coach his running backs at Miami. And now Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley is hiring him to coach his NFL running backs.
Jedd Fisch becoming offensive coordinator with the Jags last month probably played a big role in Bradley's decision to go with Richardson. Still, he's a very good coach.
Richardson worked with two running backs at UConn who ended up getting drafted -- Anthony Sherman (5th round) and Jordan Todman (6th round). The interesting thing to note here is that both players were two-star recruits coming out of Massachusetts high schools. Sherman was recruited by a lot of schools to play linebacker and ended up getting drafted as a fullback. Todman was recruited mostly as a cornerback and ended up finishing with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons before getting selected. A third player, Andre Dixon, also had his best season under Richardson in 2009.
His impressive resume in a short time at UConn was probably a big reason why he landed the job at Miami before the 2011 season. It didn't take him long to make an impact.
Lamar Miller was heavily recruited out of high school but was unable to get much going his first two seasons. Under Richardson, Miller became one of the most productive players in the ACC and then a 4th round pick by the Miami Dolphins.
Mike James had, by far, his best season as a Hurricane in 2012. He was very productive on the ground but became a much more complete back under Richardson in 2012.
Those are just some of the reasons why Richardson is considered a very good coach, and why he was desired by NFL head coaches.
Who will be his replacement? One major positive sign here is that the first three original Al Golden assistants who have left all went for promotions. And the first two coaches he's hired as replacements seem like future head coaches. From that standpoint, Golden seems to have an outstanding ability to hire the right assistant coaches.
Because his last two hires were guys who have a lot of ties to the South Florida football community, the new running backs coach probably won't necessarily have to have those. He will likely be an-and-coming coach (like Richardson was) who will have very good recruiting skills.
Because the new coach will have the opportunity to coach Duke Johnson (a potential Heisman Trophy candidate) for the next couple years, and have the ability to recruit in south Florida, it'll likely be a position that a lot of young running back coaches will be interested in.
Stay tuned, but don't be a bit surprised if Golden makes another home run hire in the very near future.