Jason Richards is in his ninth season at Pitt and his first as the Panthers’ Director of Student-Athlete Development. Richards spent his first two seasons at Pitt as a Graduate Manager, while completing a Masters of Business Administration, and was the program’s Video Coordinator and Director of Analytics for four seasons. Last season, Richards served as Director of Basketball Operations.
In his new capacity, Richards will assist the coaching staff in film breakdown, practice planning and game analytics as well as preparing student-athletes for personal, academic and athletic developmental success. He will also be heavily involved in the program’s on-campus recruiting efforts, Pitt Basketball summer camps and alumni relations.
“Jason was a terrific player at Davidson with an outstanding feel for the game,” said head coach Jeff Capel. “His understanding of the game and experience here at the University of Pittsburgh make him an outstanding fit on our staff. He will be a great asset to our coaching staff as well as a mentor to our student-athletes. Jason has a bright future in this industry and will be an invaluable member of our team.”
The Panthers have compiled a 164-110 record and reached postseason play six times, including four NCAA Tournament appearances, during Richards’ tenure. The Panthers went 28-6, won the Big East regular season championship and claimed the program’s second No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history in his first season with the program. Pitt also played in the 2013, 2014 and 2016 NCAA Tournaments with Richards on staff.
Richards played four years at Davidson (2004-08) and, along with Stephen Curry, helped guide the Wildcats to an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2008. He concluded his career as Davidson’s career assists leader (663) and holds school records for assists in a season (293) and assists in a game (19).
Richards scored 1,096 points in 128 career games played with a .478 field goal percentage and a .785 free throw percentage, while helping Davidson to three NCAA Tournament appearances, one NIT bid and three Southern Conference Tournament Championships. The Wildcats were 48-12 over his final two seasons at Davidson.
During the 2006-07 campaign, Richards posted a career-best 13.5 points per game to go along with 3.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.5 steals per contest to earn All-SoCon honors.
As a senior, Richards led the NCAA in assists (8.1 apg.), while averaging 12.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He was named first team All-SoCon in 2008 as Davidson claimed the conference title for the third consecutive season. Richards was also named to the NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Regional Team after setting an NCAA Regional record with 13 assists in a win over Wisconsin.
Following graduation, Richards signed a free agent contract for the 2008-09 season with the Miami Heat. He spent the 2009-10 season in the NBDL with the Utah Flash before a third ACL injury to his left knee ended his playing career.
A Barrington, Ill. native, Richards’ father, Tom, and mother, Mary Beth, both played basketball at Pitt from 1972-76. His sister, Lindsay, a former McDonald’s All-American at Iowa, was a women’s basketball assistant coach at Duquesne (2010-13) and Pitt (2013-18).
Richards was a four-year starter at Barrington High, breaking 12 school records, while scoring 1,779 points. He averaged better than 20 points, four assists and two steals per game as a senior. Richards participated in the prestigious ABCD camp and was chosen as a Street & Smith’s Preseason honorable mention All-America selection.
Richards resides in Oakmont with his fiancé Natalie.