And from that commitment, Christine and her son got more than they ever dreamed possible.
She wanted Pete to get a bachelor’s degree, and not only did he get it, he got a master’s degree at Dayton.
He wants to play football and not only did well as a UD defensive back, he was a 7th round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills and quickly became their starting safe. It was only because of a knee injury that his NFL career ended after three seasons.
However, his football career was just beginning.
While in graduate school at UD, he began coaching at Dunbar High School under Jack Hart before becoming head coach of the Wolverines.
He then spent 14 seasons at Winston-Salem State University, including four as head coach as the Rams won three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles.
That led him to Southern University and even greater success. In his 17 seasons, he led the Jaguars to his four Blacks National Championships, five Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) titles, and six Heritage Bowl appearances.
Ten days ago, Richardson was inducted into the Black Football Hall of Fame at Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When he takes office in June, he will join the ranks of other legendary coaches – Eddie Robinson of Grambling, Jake Gaither of Florida A&M University, Billie Joe of Central State (Cheney State University and He also headed the program at FAMU), Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Deacon Jones, Ken Riley, Willie Lanier and Doug Williams.
“It’s really a tremendous honor,” he said. “When I started coaching, I knew some of the great coaches and players, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to be in a place like that with them.”
Appreciation for UD
When Richardson devoted himself to UD in the mid-1960s, there were very few black students on campus and not many on the football team.
Some of the Flyers’ black players felt they lacked experience at the time, but Richardson is grateful to his UD days for the education he got and the opportunities that followed. I said yes.
“Pete was living with middle guard Barry Profert, which goes back to a time when whites and blacks didn’t live together,” said UD teammate Jim Place. “However, they wanted to be roommates and lived together for two years.
“Pete was just a great guy and oh, he was a good soccer player!”
Richardson started as a running back for Dayton’s 1965 team.
The following season, Ankney was replaced by John McVay, and Richardson became the defensive back. was 8-2.
A big reason for the success was the Flyers’ aggressive defense, Place said:
“We had really good coaches. George Perls went on to the Steelers and Michigan State, and Wayne Fontes became head coach of the Detroit Lions.
“And then we had two great lockdown corners with Pete and Theron Sumpter.
“Two corners locked the opposing team’s receivers, so we played the man on every play. Perls his coach had us do his stunts 90% of the time, but because Pete and Sumpter locked down the receiver and the quarterback stood there for a few seconds with nowhere to throw, we were Could wreak havoc. ”
Place said Richardson not only has the skills, but also has some confidence.
“That’s one story,” Place said with a laugh.
“I remember playing for UC[in1966]. We were very weak, but we were pretty good 23-7.
“They had a running back named Clem Turner who did everything in Ohio. Did).
“He was trying to restore UC to greatness.
“I was lucky in that match and I licked him really well. Spoken and returned to the dense trash can.
“On the next play, (Turner) comes out and yells at me, ‘I’m going to get you!’
“I thought, ‘Why are you getting me? Pete is talking to you!
Richardson gave the Flyers a bit of an edge and they took advantage of it.
The defense ranks 20th in the nation, averaging 10.8 points per game. The team defeated Louisville, Ohio University, Toledo, Xavier, Buffalo, Richmond, and Northern Michigan, but a late-season loss to Miami knocked them out of a bowl game that was much harder to get into then than it is now. It was
Dayton was no pipeline to the NFL, and while Richardson said he had no professional dreams for himself at first, the concept wasn’t entirely foreign to him.
“I had two cousins, Bill and Melvin Triplett, who were professional soccer players.
Mel graduated from the University of Toledo and played eight seasons for the Minnesota and New York Giants. Young Lou his Alcindor idolized him and chose to wear his number 33 jersey on his basketball court.
Bill Triplett was a 1,418-yard rusher at the University of Miami in 1961 and played 10 seasons in the NFL for the St. Louis, Giants, and Detroit Lions.
When Richardson turned pro, Place laughed, he showed a lot of his crappy side:
“He always seemed to cover the tight end and did it with guys like John Mackie. He made a lot of highlight reels with his fists.”
In 39 NFL games (25 as a starter), he recorded eight interceptions and five fumble recoveries. That included playing his third year with a knee injury sustained during the preseason.
“He was the real deal,” Place said. “If I’ve played with a player and he plays in the NFL, I follow him. I see him on TV and I’m like, ‘I played with him!
The two have kept in touch over the years and even met for lunch at a national coaching convention. Places in particular followed in the footsteps of old teammates who changed the fortunes of the Southern program they took over in 1993.
The Jaguars had lost three straight seasons until Richardson took over, but when Richardson took over as director, he instilled a sense of discipline, spending a lot of time studying film and spending time with his girlfriend. reduced time.
As Mike Gegenheimer wrote in a 2018 article on Richardson published in the Baton Rouge Advocate:
“In her annual speech to freshmen on the first day of practice, Richardson said, ‘You’re here to get an education and play football. She’s with Jody now.’ So you don’t have to worry about Susie Q coming home.
“All his behavior was offensive.”
But soon, his discipline paid off big and eventually the players came along.
In that first year, his team went 11-1 to win the black college football national championship, and the Jaguars won the title again in 1995, 1997 and 2003.
“It’s always been fun to see Pete’s team play the big game against Grambling every year,” Place said.
Called the Bayou Classic, the rival game drew 50,000 to 70,000 people to the New Orleans Superdome. Richardson’s team won his first eight matchups after he took over, his 5–0 win against Eddie Robinson and the 17th Classic his team has played. His 12 won.
“I loved coaching because it allowed me to build relationships with the players,” Richardson said. Someone helped me along the way and I wanted to do the same for them.
“It’s rewarding to see them succeed and grow, especially when you see them doing well later in life with their families.”
“Glad to share”
After losing just two seasons in his 17 years with the Southerns, going 134-62 overall, Richardson was sacked in 2009 after the Jaguars went 6-5.
It took him a while to overcome his dismissal from the program he crafted, but he has since been inducted into the Southern Hall of Fame, as well as the Louisiana and Winston-Salem Halls of Fame. For radio broadcasts of Jaguar games.
He still lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but his wife Lillian died three years ago.
His only child, daughter Deborrare, lives with the family in Cleveland, and Pete is visiting them for Christmas.
“I’m glad I got his honor while I’m still alive,” he said. I am happy to share with you.
As for his late mother, he admitted that he didn’t always do what she wanted.
“When I was a boy, I was very small,” he said. “She didn’t even want me to play Pop Warner. I thought it was too much.”
he played anyway.
It turned out to be a Hall of Fame decision.