Alumni Coach Makes Lasting Impression
January 25, 2017
Unlike multiple alumni who travel far from school, assistant football and wrestling coach Dezmond Richardson has impacted the community. The former track and football athlete has made a difference on and off the playing field.
After graduating in 2006, Richardson received a scholarship to play football at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. After his football career playing running back, he found a new adventure where he least expected it.
“I showed up to watch a practice one day and the head coach at the time asked me if I wanted to help coach,” Richardson said. “ I didn’t know the first thing about coaching so I used the great invention since the light bulb, YouTube.”
For the last six years Richardson has done a little bit of everything to prepare the team to play on Friday nights. He has coached running backs, offensive linemen, ran the weight room and instructed the summer program. His love truly shows through from his dedication and time put into his coaching techniques.
“He cares about this school, he cares about this community more than anyone I’ve ever known,” Coach Ronnie Watson said. “And he does it [coaches] out of his love for coaching and being around young men and inspiring them to be better men years from now.”
When Richardson is not teaching his preschool class at Madison Premier Preschool, he is working on football. Weather it be writing down ideas, talking to other coaches, practicing or watching film, he puts in just as much time as every other coach.
“My purpose is to educate these young men on life, and show them you get what you put in,” Richardson said. “I get to show them hard work pays off on and off the field.”
Growing up in the community and experiencing most of the things young men do today, makes Richardson a more relatable figure to student athletes. His upbeat attitude and coaching style brings different perspectives to the table.
“As an alumni of Sparkman High, he genuinely cares about the athletic programs we have,” athlete Thomas Little says. “ He teaches members of both the wrestling and football team how to be mature, win with integrity and play sports the right way.”
This is Richardson’s second year being a part of the wrestling coach staff. Richardson began coaching the sport because he enjoyed coaching alongside Ronnie Watson however he has begun to develop an understanding for the sport. His need to help others shines through his coaching for each sport.
“After I started coaching at Sparkman a sense of pride took over,” Richardson said. “I knew I wanted to make my old team become a winner.”
From the moment an athlete meets Richardson to the time they graduate, Richardson molds these boys into the young men they will become. Through every practice and pep talk Richardson leaves a lasting impact on each of his athletes.
“I don’t know anyone in the last six years that’s has been around him and doesn’t look up to him,” Watson said. “ When I see players outside of school, that have already graduated, the first person they ask about is Coach Dez.”