Towson names Diane Richardson women's basketball coach

Diane Richardson, a former Maryland assistant coach who has 16 years of women’s basketball coaching experience, has been named head coach at Towson.

She was an assistant to Brenda Frese with the Terps during the 2007-08 season, helping Maryland earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and advancing to the Elite Eight.

Richardson will be introduced at a news conference Friday morning. She replaces Niki Reid Geckeler, who resigned June 22 after going 43-80 in four years as head coach.

“It is an honor to be named the new head coach of the Towson University women’s basketball program,” she said in a news release. “I’ve lived in this community most of my life and witnessed the tremendous growth in the university and the athletics program. I’ve celebrated with teams in the past years as a community supporter but I am now proud to call this ‘my university.’ I look forward to adding to the tradition of community and championships.”

Richardson was assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at West Virginia during the 2016-17 season. The Mountaineers won their first Big 12 championship this past season as they defeated Oklahoma, Texas and No. 2 Baylor to claim the title.

As recruiting coordinator at WVU, she was behind the Mountaineers’ 2017 recruiting class being ranked No. 17 by ESPNW.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Diane to Towson,” athletic director Tim Leonard said. “She has deep ties to the area [at George Washington, Maryland, American and Riverdale Baptist High] and I believe that will go a long way to help us further our vision to become Greater Baltimore’s premier collegiate brand.

“Her ability to recruit and develop talent, particularly in the DMV area, will help her build a winning program at Towson.”

Prior to her time at West Virginia, Richardson spent four years as an assistant coach at George Washington. She helped the Colonials improve their win total from 11 wins to a school record 29 wins after just two seasons. George Washington won two Atlantic 10 regular-season and conference tournament championships while she was there.

Richardson was head coach at Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro from 2001-06 and 2009-12. Riverdale Baptist won five national championships during Richardson’s tenure and was ranked among the USA Today top 10 in five of her eight years.

In between her stints at Riverdale Baptist, Richardson was at Maryland and American.

"I'm sure Diane is thrilled to be coming back home. I'm happy for her and her biggest supporter, her husband Larry,” Frese said. “Towson is getting someone with tremendous local connections that should help them for years to come. It's an exciting challenge to move into that head coach's chair at the college level and I know Diane will put her best into it."

Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Frostburg State. Richardson played basketball and ran track at Frostbur,g and was the 1979 NCAA regional champion in the 200- and 400-meter races. She earned a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which did not compete in the Games.

She earned her master’s degree in management from Central Michigan in 1984.

Richardson also has an extensive business background. She was founder and chief operating officer for the American Security Companies. Richardson also served as a vice president of the national neighborhood lending marketing team for Bank of America.

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