JACKSON, Miss. – With all the pomp and circumstance that accompanied the rousing introduction of head football coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders in 2020, Margaret Richards was introduced Monday as Jackson State’s new women’s head basketball coach. The occasion featured a police escorted motorcade entrance with sounds of the school’s legendary “Sonic Boom of the South” Marching Band providing the bouncing musical backdrop for the packed press conference held at the Lee E.Williams Athletic and Assembly Center.

Richards was announced by Jackson State Vice President & Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson as the seventh head coach of the women’s basketball program last week.

She has a big job ahead following in the footsteps of former JSU head coach Tomekia Reed who won five Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) regular season championships and three SWAC Tournament titles and the NCAA Tournament berths that go with them in six years leading the Lady Tigers. Reed left after this season and was announced two weeks ago as the head coach at Charlotte.

Richards was greeted by a fired-up and enthusiastic JSU crowd.

“Since I stepped off that plane yesterday morning, it’s been nothing but love,” Richards said. “This is a true blessing and a dream for me to be able to lead this first-class program. And the support is unmatched, unlike any other I’ve ever seen.”

Richards, a 19-year collegiate coaching veteran comes to Jackson State from Mercer where she joined the staff after an eight-year run as head coach at Alabama A&M where she paced the Bulldogs to nearly 100 wins.

Richards has served as an assistant at Kentucky State, a graduate assistant at Louisville and head coach at Saint Augustine’s (2008-09). She led the Falcons to a 33-24 clip across two seasons, highlighted by an 18-10 record and a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Western Division championship in 2009-10.

Richards also has had roles as an assistant coach at North Texas (2010-11) and Weber State (2011-12), Western Kentucky and Clemson (2015-16) season before being named as Alabama A&M’s fifth head coach on June 2, 2016.