Earlier today, I reported that Andre Gray was no longer the head men’s basketball coach at D2 Elizabeth City State University. That has now been confirmed, as ECSU has released the statement below. Also, at the time of the original report, it sounded like assistant coach Trey Sumler would be named as the interim head coach. That is in fact not the case, as ECSU has officially made the decision to go with an alum, and they have hired long-time Old Dominion assistant John Richardson as their interim head coach. Here is the statement from ECSU:
In a statement Monday, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) director of athletics James DuBose Jr. announced the appointment of alumnus John W. Richardson III as interim head coach of the men’s basketball team. He becomes the eighth coach in program history.
“Coach Richardson brings with him a wealth of experience that we believe will aid him and our team as we continue the season,” DuBose said.
A native of Aulander, N.C., Richardson ’95 boasts nearly two decades of coaching Division I basketball with a combined 16 years of experience as an assistant coach at Old Dominion University (ODU) and an additional two years as an assistant at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Prior to his appointment at Virginia Tech in 2005, Richardson coached back-to-back Virginia High School League State Championship teams at Woodside High School in 2004 and 2005.
“I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to coach the wonderful student-athletes at my alma mater,” Richardson said.
Richardson has seen outstanding success as an assistant coach at ODU. His accolades include being named one of the top 50 Most Impactful Assistant Coaches by Silverwares Media and Top 5 Men’s Basketball Assistants in C-USA conference in 2020 and 2022; regular season and tournament championship and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament berth in 2019; and a conference championship in 2010.
While Richardson’s resume offers many things that bring him pride, it is his work with students that brought them academic and athletic success that drives his passion.
“I believe being a champion in competition, in the classroom, and in the community is vital to the success of any institution of learning. Throughout my coaching career, my mission has been to positively impact the futures of our athletes by focusing on three pillars – social well-being, academic and athletic development,” he said. “My mission has always been and will continue to be to positively impact the futures of our athletes.”