April 10, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball coach Sean Miller today announced the hiring of James Whitford and Emanuel Richardson as assistant coaches.
Whitford, 37, joins Miller's Wildcat staff after serving in a similar capacity for the last four seasons at Xavier with an emphasis on defense and recruiting. While working for the Musketeers, the program amassed a 103-35 (.746) record and collected three Atlantic-10 Conference championships, one A-10 tournament title and made four NCAA Tournament appearances. The 2007-08 XU squad advanced to the West Regional Final.
"I am thrilled to be joining the University of Arizona men's basketball program," said Whitford. "The rich history and tradition is something I'm excited to be a part. I look forward to many great years in Tucson."
Prior to his tenure in Cincinnati, Whitford spent 11 seasons on the staff at Miami University (Ohio) for Charlie Coles, the last eight as the top assistant. In that span, the RedHawks won better than 60 percent of its games (201-130), captured the 2004-05 Mid-American Conference championship and advanced to the National Invitational Tournament.
Whitford's first two seasons in Oxford, Ohio, were as an administrative assistant in 1994-95 and 1995-96. He became a full-time assistant on Coles' staff in 1997 and was promoted to the top assistant in June 1998. All told, he was a part of three NCAA Tournament appearances (1995, '97, '99), two NIT berths (1996, 2005) and four MAC regular-season championships (1995, '97, '99, 2005) while at Miami.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He served as a manager for the Badger men's basketball program for three seasons. Arizona head coach Sean Miller was an assistant coach for Wisconsin during the 1992-93 campaign, Whitford's junior season at UW.
A native of Madison, Wis., Whitford and his wife, Amber, have a one-year-old son, Liam. Amber is an assistant coach with the Xavier women's basketball team.
"Book" Richardson, 36, just completed his second year as a member of Miller's staff at Xavier. His impact was immediate, as the 2007-08 Musketeers posted a school-record 30 wins and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's "Elite Eight."
Prior to Xavier, Richardson was the Director of Basketball for the New York Gauchos/Teamwork Foundation in the Bronx, N.Y., from 2005-07. He also served as an assistant coach at St. Raymond's High School for Boys in 2004 and was the head coach for ninth and 10th-grade players in the New York Gauchos system in 2003.
Richardson's U-18 red team captured the gold medal at the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival, becoming the youngest coach ever to win the event. He was the first AAU coach to be selected by USA Basketball as a head coach in the festival. Additionally, Richardson was part of Nike's Travel Team Advisory Board, a part of Nike Elite Youth Basketball, where he was the youngest of six members.
He was an assistant coach at Marist College in 2004-05, where coordinated the Red Foxes' recruiting, scouting and individual work outs, focusing primarily on guard play and offensive skill development. Richardson also spent three seasons as an assistant at Monroe College, an NJCAA program in the Bronx. His 2002-03 club went 31-3, won the Region 15 and District 3 titles and finished fifth at the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a bachelor's degree in business marketing and management, Richardson's coaching career began at his alma mater as the associate head coach in 1999. He handled recruiting, scouting, practice plans and study halls and helped the NCAA Division II Mountain Cats to a 25-3 record, the best in school history.
A native of Queens, N.Y., Richardson and his wife, Erin, have two children, daughter Sere and son E.J.
"I'm interested in finding the best people for my staff," said Miller, "and I believe that James and Emanuel are two outstanding coaches. Obviously, we've had a great deal of success together and I look forward to continuing that here at Arizona."