Rocky Mount, N.C. - Following an extensive national search, the North Carolina Wesleyan Department of Athletics is pleased to announce Worth Richardson as the next head coach of the Battling Bishops' men's and women's tennis programs. Richardson's successful track record as both a coach and recruiter, as well as his familiarity with North Carolina Wesleyan and the USA South Athletic Conference, set him apart as the perfect successor to Dominic Modise, who recently accepted a position as head women's tennis coach at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"We are very excited to have Worth Richardson join our staff as head coach of our men's and women's tennis programs," said John Thompson, N.C. Wesleyan Vice President for Athletics. "Worth is a bright, energetic coach and we look forward to working with him to further the great success of our programs."
Richardson comes to North Carolina Wesleyan from Division I Bucknell University, where he served as associate head coach of the Bison men's and women's tennis teams. In just one season, Richardson led BU's top men's doubles duo to the program's and conference's first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. That same doubles tandem achieved Bucknell's first national ranking, as well as the highest national ranking ever for a Patriot League affiliate. Richardson's hard work also resulted in the top men's recruit in the League's class of 2012.
No stranger to the USA South Athletic Conference, Richardson's pre-Bucknell resume saw the Virginia native enjoy a successful five-year stint as the assistant men's coach at his alma mater, Christopher Newport University. During his CNU tenure, the Captains earned four All-America honors, three USA South Player of the Year awards, 18 All-Conference picks and 12 All-Conference Academic selections.
It was at CNU that Richardson established himself as an elite recruiter, having secured two players who had achieved top-200 national junior rankings, in addition to several Division I transfers and a wealth of international talent. He proceeded to coach five of his CNU recruits to top-25 national rankings in singles and doubles play, leading his Captains to ITA Regional Championships in both. CNU, in fact, achieved team national rankings in four of Richardson's five years on staff.
A four-year starter for the Captains, Richardson also boasts the rare distinction of winning a USA South Conference Championship as both a player and a coach. His first title came as a senior in 2006, the same year he was named to the All-Conference and All-Tournament teams. After moving to the sidelines, he led the Captains to a share of the 2007 league title before helping CNU secure an outright championship the following year.
Ironically, it was North Carolina Wesleyan that ended the Captains' run in 2009 with the first of four consecutive USA South regular season and tournament crowns for the Battling Bishops… a streak that Richardson will now attempt to carry on as head coach of his former league rival.
"I am excited to bring my talents to Rocky Mount," he said, adding, "I am honored to have this opportunity to build on the immense foundation Coach Modise, the administration and benefactors have set in place. I look forward to helping our men capture their first national title."
On the women's side, the bar has also been raised as the 2012 season saw Wesleyan's women turn the corner with a third straight winning season, which included a share of the program's first USA South regular season championship. Richardson again embraces the challenge and is confident he can continue Wesleyan's recent success.
He continued, "Roughly a year from now I hope to see us take home both the men's and women's USA South Championships in front of packed bleachers as we host the conference tournament at our beautiful Slick Family Foundation Tennis Complex."
A nominee for Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011, Richardson has worked with players from the Philippines, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, Belarus and Moldova over the course of his career. His coaching experience also includes a turn with the James River Tennis Academy, as well as a stint as head coach of the 2010 USTA Mid-Atlantic Boys and Girls 14u Zonals team. Most recently, he was selected as the Mid-Atlantic 16U Intersectional team coach. Later this summer, he will take the top four boys and girls from his section to Shreveport, Louisiana for the highest level team tournament in the country.
Richardson's experience, however, doesn't end there. From 2009 to 2010, he served as tournament director of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Boys 18U L2 Challenger at CNU, and he remains assistant director of the Adidas Tennis Camps at the University of Mary Washington, a position in which he has served since 2009. He has also enjoyed runs as the head tennis pro at both the Culpeper Sport and Racket Club and the James River Country Club, where he accepted the USTA Virginia Tennis Club of the Year award in 2007.
Also of note, Richardson served as the inaugural tennis coach at Eastern View High School in his hometown of Culpeper. Despite having no students with high school playing experience, Richardson's squad made the regional semifinals in his and the program's second and third seasons, boasting a District singles champion in the latter.
A 2006 graduate of Christopher Newport with a degree in economics, Richardson will now reside in the Rocky Mount area.