University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings announced the retirement of long-time assistant Tom Richardson, as well as the promotions of director of basketball operations Dan Cage and video coordinator / director of analytics Jason Richards, Friday morning. Chris Jones, a 2016 Pitt graduate, will also join the coaching staff as a graduate manager.
Richardson, who underwent hip replacement surgery in April, was a member of Stallings’ coaching staff for 20 seasons, including the past 14 at Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh. He joined Stallings at Illionis State in 1993 and assumed the head job for the Redbirds following Stallings’ departure to Vanderbilt. Richardson rejoined Stallings at Vanderbilt prior to the 2003-04 season and helped guide the Commodores to a 270-161 record and 10 postseason appearances in 13 seasons in Nashville.
“Tom is an outstanding coach and an even better person and friend,” said Stallings. “He is one of the best at teaching the fundamentals of the game and will be missed. I am extremely grateful for the many years we have been together and the lasting impact he has had on my coaching career. It will be different not having him next to me on the sideline, but I know he will be watching and always willing to talk basketball.”
Cage will move into the vacant assistant coach position on the staff after serving as the director of basketball operations last year at Pitt and the previous four seasons at Vanderbilt. A four-year letterwinner for the Commodores, Cage helped the team to two Sweet Sixteen appearances (2004, 2007) and an 82-49 record overall. He went on to play four seasons professionally in Germany, France and Spain after averaging 11.2 points per game as a senior.
Richards will assume the director of basketball operations role after serving the past three seasons as the Panthers’ video coordinator and director of analytics. The former Davidson standout spent his first two seasons at Pitt as a graduate manager. Richards led the NCAA in assists in 2008, while teaming with Steph Curry to lead the Wildcats to an Elite Eight appearance. He finished his career with 1,096 points and holds school records for career assists (663), single-season assists (293) and assists in a game (19).
Richards will combine with special assistant Matt Woodley to handle video coordinator and director of analytics responsibilities with graduate managers Jones and Matt Richardson also providing support.
“I am excited about the makeup of the coaching staff,” said Stallings. “I believe Dan has a bright future in coaching and is well prepared for this opportunity. Jason has been an outstanding presence in this program for the past seven years and that will only grow in his new role. He and Coach Woodley are an outstanding pairing in terms of breaking down film and the analytics of the game.”
Jones averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game over his career. A consummate team player, he battled back from injuries early in his career to play in 129 games, including 61 starts. The Teaneck, N.J., native averaged 7.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game a year ago, while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He graduated with a degree in communication in August of 2016 and began working towards a second degree in legal studies during his final season of athletic eligibility.
“Chris was an outstanding student-athlete and a great representative of the University of Pittsburgh and our basketball program,” said Stallings. “He will be a tremendous asset to our team as we work to build a culture of accountability, selflessness and excellence. I am really looking forward to having Chris remain a member of this program and continuing to build my relationship with him.”
Pitt has undergone a roster overhaul in the offseason with top returnee Ryan Luther being joined by a talented six-man recruiting class featuring Rivals Top 100 point guard Marcus Carr, JUCO standout Jared Wilson-Frame and versatile big-man Terrell Brown along with three emerging talents in spring signees – Khameron Davis, Peace Ilegomah and Shamiel Stevenson. Pitt has also added standout transfer Malik Ellison, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2017-18 season, and the coaching staff continues to explore the recruiting trails and transfer market for high-level talent that is committed to forming the foundation of a sustainable winning culture in the ACC at Pitt.