Why did you want to get into coaching college basketball?
“My father was a college football coach and I have been around athletics my whole life. I love competition, I love college and I love the game of basketball so by combining the three I became a college basketball coach. People always said, ‘Do something you love,’ and this is where I ended up and it’s worked out well.”
How did you get your foot in the door?
“I had a connection through my father to get here here as a student assistant, manager at NDSU and I got my undergrad. I just worked and that parlayed into a couple of other things and from a student manager, to student-coach, graduate assistant, to assistant, to associate head coach; it’s been good. It’s been a blast to do it at your alma- mater.”
What are some challenges you have faced not playing significant college basketball, but now coaching it?
“I did play in high school and one year of junior college, so I have been around the game for a long time. I think the fact I have been around, not necessarily basketball, but college athletics my whole life. So the adjustment, and again the game is obviously important, but 90 percent of coaching is relationships on and off the court and more so off the court. Being able to relate to guys and I think my background being around college athletics for so long has helped me with that.”
Who had the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy?
“Number one would be my parents with my father being in college athletics and my mother is a huge influence on me and the person I am. And then I have been fortunate to be at one place, with several tremendous coaches, but more importantly, great people with high character. The type of people/ coaches that have walked the sidelines at NDSU speaks volumes for the type of place NDSU is and the overall commitment we have for our athletic programs.”
Tell us about your coaching philosophy.
“I guess it’s pretty simple. You gotta keep it simple and have fun. Basketball is a great game and we all got into it because we love it. You don’t want to complicate it too much. Get yourself surrounded with good people. The guys do so much work during practice and we let that carry over into games so they’re playing free, playing easy. I also believe as a coach you are helping young men become adults… It’s just more important to help guide these young men through a very important stage of their lives off the court.”
What’s the most valuable asset you bring to the coaching staff?
“I’m maybe a little bit more of a Type-A personality, some of the guys, and I think that’s what you look for when building a coaching staff is a nice balance of different personalities and different types. But it all meshes well and I’ve recruited a bunch of these guys, I have helped prepare and develop a bunch of these guys and I think again with anything it’s about relationships and myself included. We have all done a nice job of building relationships with first and foremost our guys, recruits and people within the community.”
Would you like to become a head coach one day?
“I would love that opportunity. …But my first concern right now is to win the next game, everything else will take care of itself. But yeah, I think every assistant has aspirations hopes, goals and dreams. We got a lot of great ideas. We want to implement those and see how it works out.”
Do you think you’re ready?
“I have confidence that I’m ready, definitely. You never know for sure until you blow that first whistle in practice or call that first timeout in the game, but I’m also really looking forward to those firsts as well.”
What do you do in your free time?
“Family. My wife Stephanie is a NDSU grad herself and we have four beautiful girls. They’re all under the age of six so it has to be a balance. You deal with 18- to 22-year-old guys during the day and in the evening, you run home to a house full of women. It’s challenging, it’s this and that, but at the end of the day it’s a lot of fun. They keep me busy and they keep me active that’s for sure.”
So is there any time for relaxation?
“I don’t know (laughs). Shoveling the driveway seems pretty relaxing to me these days (laughs). …With our families being so close, my wife’s family and my family, we get out and we get to see them a lot. I really enjoy being around them. Getting to the lakes, getting to the golf course, although that’s not always relaxing as it can be stressful. I guess it depends on how your game is going (laughs). I like to be busy. I like to work; I don’t mind those kinds of things at all.”
ALONG THE WAY…
Coach Richman has coached with the best. Here’s a look at a few Bison coaches that have went on to coach at some notable stops.
• Greg McDermott – Head Coach, Creighton University
• Tim Miles – Head Coach, University of Nebraska
• Ben Jacobson – Head Coach, University of Northern Iowa