NATCHEZ HIGH’S FAMILY GUY: Natchez introduces new girls’ basketball coach Tim Richardson

Published 12:14 am Sunday, July 17, 2016

NATCHEZ — One-year-old Taylor Richardson doesn’t have the jump shot, height or basketball mind her father Tim Richardson has developed over the course of his basketball career. But, while she sits in her 27-year-old dad’s lap in the Natchez High School gym, she pats her hand rhythmically on top of the basketball he is holding, mimicking the act of dribbling.

It’s not Stephen Curry material, but perhaps it’s a start.

The older Richardson, Natchez High School’s new girls basketball coach, is starting a new endeavor of his own. He said he wants the community to know, in his mind, basketball and family don’t compete with each other.

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“I’m a big family guy,” Natchez High’s newest faculty member said. “I took a year off basketball related activities — besides assistant coaching — because I wanted to spend time with my family and my newborn daughter.”

The Birmingham native has been coaching for approximately four years since graduating from Mississippi College. He spent two years as a head coach and two as an assistant after his college basketball career.

His coaching career began in girls sports as the girls’ track and field and girls’ basketball coach at Rosa Scott School in Madison.

He said he’s found in coaching girls athletics, the players tend to be academically self-motivated, which allows him to spend more time on the basketball aspect of his job.

“I’ve found, personally, it’s easier to coach girls than guys,” Richardson said. “Sometimes girls are more focused classroom-wise, so it helps me be able to focus more on the basketball.”

Richardson’s last stop was at Durant High School. Richardson said at his previous stops he’s been able to develop a coaching style that fits his personality,

“I like to use the three Cs — cool, collected and in control,” Richardson said. “I want our athletes to feel confident in what their doing, keep a leveled head and execute while they’re on the floor.”

Richardson said he is aware of the success former coach Alphaka Moore had at Natchez High. He gave a respectful nod to the two-time state champion coach, who is continuing her career at Laurel High School.

“(Moore) obviously did a great job and no one can take away the success she’s had here, and I wish her the best,” Richardson said.

It seems, if expectations are high for the Natchez High girls’ team, Richardson himself sets most of those lofty expectations.

“We want to lose no more than one game in district,” Richardson said. “When we go to the district tournament we’ll play the game as seeding plays out, but during the regular season we want to lose no more than one game.”

Natchez’s roster is also in transition. The Bulldogs will have to fill the roles of graduated starters Ernesha Chatman, Skylar Morgan and Zyaire Ewing. Natchez returns starter Kirdis Clark for her senior season.

Richardson said he learned how to carry a team’s success over from one season to another in high school, when he played for a state championship his junior season. He is confident Natchez will be competitive this season as the crop of underclassmen become the team’s new core. For now, Richardson is focused on learning about where his players fit the best.

“Following the success that’s coming here, we want to focus on improving every single day,” Richardson said. “We want to make sure every player is put in the right position to succeed. We want to build on the strengths and players returning from last year.”

Richardson said his desire to connect with the Miss-Lou community goes two ways. He intends for his players to give back to the town that has supported its Bulldog teams over the years, so the community is inspired to return the favor in the form of a packed gym during basketball season.

“I’m big on community support,” Richardson said. “On home games, we want this place packed out. We want the fire marshals to tell us we cannot have anymore people in the gym.

“(The team) will do their part to reach out, because they would want the same thing from their community.”

Richardson is the husband of Jasmine Richardson and Taylor is the couple’s only child.