Tom Richardson - Men's Basketball - Vanderbilt University Athletics

Tom Richardson

Assistant Coach

Tom Richardson enters his 13th season at Vanderbilt after joining the men’s basketball program prior to the 2003-04 season.

Richardson, one of the top minds in the game of college basketball, is in charge of player development and offseason workouts, scheduling, and assists Coach Stallings in recruiting.

Richardson has helped guide Vanderbilt to two Sweet 16’s and five NCAA Tournament appearances in his time with Vanderbilt, while also coaching two SEC Players of the Year in Derrick Byars and Shan Foster and six players who were drafted in the NBA – Byars, Foster, Matt Freije, John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli, and Jeffery Taylor.

A trusted friend and talented instructor, Richardson came to Vanderbilt after serving four years as head coach at Illinois State.

He succeeded Stallings as the Redbird head coach after the two had combined to lead Illinois State to a 123-63 record in six years.

During that tenure, regarded by many as the most successful in school history, the Redbirds won two Missouri Conference championships, made two trips to the NCAA Tournament and had two berths in the NIT.

In his four years as head coach, Richardson directed Illinois State to a 56-64 record with two second-place finishes in the Missouri Valley and one trip to the NIT.

Richardson gained a reputation as an excellent shooting instructor and the Illinois State field goal and free throw percentages during his tenure are proof of that ability. He was responsible for three of the top four free throw percentage seasons and three of the top five field goal percentage seasons in Illinois State history. His 2002-03 squad led the nation, shooting 44 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Prior to going to Illinois State, Richardson compiled a 193-146 record at Nazareth Academy High School in LaGrange, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He began the boys basketball program there and in his last 10 years had a 182-84 mark with three conference championships.

Richardson graduated from St. Xavier (Ill.) in 1977 and was a two-time basketball team captain.  He was inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame in 1991. He received his master’s from Chicago State in 1986.

He and his wife, Nancy, have three children; Mary Beth, Katie, and Matthew, and two grandchildren, Brynn and Brayden.