Diane Richardson is leaving her post as the girls’ basketball coach at Riverdale Baptist to become an assistant at George Washington.
Richardson leaves behind a dominant program, having led the Crusaders to an 88-14 record the past three seasons in her second stint at the school. Riverdale Baptist has finished as The Post’s top-ranked team the past four years, and last season featured All-Met Player of the Year Jonquel Jones, a Clemson recruit, on a team that finished 37-2.
“It was tough, and it was something I pondered for a long, long time before I made a final decision. I talked it over with my husband, with my family,” Richardson said. “Whenever you’re part of a program, especially one where we were really really close, it was tough emotionally for me and the girls but I know they’ll be okay.”
Richardson, who officially began her new job with GW on Tuesday, joins the staff of Jonathan Tsipis, the newly hired women’s basketball coach. Tsipis, who previously served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, replaced Mike Bozeman, who was fired after four years.
The move will not be Richardson’s first foray into women’s college basketball. She first left Riverdale Baptist after a 142-20 run from 2001-06 for an assistant position at American. She spent the 2007-08 season at Maryland.
“I am born and raised here so I’ve followed the program for a long time, and when they brought in Jonathan Tsipis from Notre Dame, I knew that GW would be a great place to learn and grow,” Richardson said. “[College coaching is] something I’ve wanted to do, and I did it and went back to high school. I made the decision that it’s something I wanted to get back to.”
Richardson said that while her recruiting duties could extend outside of the area, her connections to local high school teams and players would be “an asset.” Both Tsipis and Mike Lonergan, the second-year GW men’s basketball coach, have emphasized recruiting local players to Foggy Bottom.
“That’s the direction we’re heading in. Jonathan Tsipis has said it time and time again that we’re looking for kids in the DMV area,” Richardson said. “I understand that there are a lot of great basketball players in the DMV area.We’d rather they play at home in front of their families, much like they’ve done in high school.”