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Coach of the Week

Jesus Sanchez/The Rider
Jesus Sanchez/The Rider

Name: Xavier Richardson
Sport: Track and field, cross-country
Title: Head coach

What is your favorite part about coaching?
“Easiest answer is being in it, being in this element. Out here on the oval, outside, just doing what we do I’d say is the best part.”

What was your biggest adjustment going from athlete to coach?
“Biggest adjustment is that I’m really not as capable, physically, as I was as an athlete. I’m still very capable, I never let them forget that, but I can’t do all the things I was able to do as an athlete but I can do some of them. That physical reality check that I’m not 18-22 years old anymore.”

What is your favorite thing about life in the Valley?
“I have to go with the weather. Coming from Virginia and the East Coast, we have our hot but we have a lot of cold, and here hot is hot. As speed and power coach we do sprint hurdles and jumps. Hot is great; it’s great for us. We get to train at a much higher capacity than half of the nation. Those northern schools are just edging to get out to spring and we’ve got our spring all the time. We have a lot of summer, but being able to enjoy the weather year-round is a great advantage for us.”

What is your favorite place close to campus?
“My favorite place on campus is the walkway past the engineering building, between HPE1 and HPE2 down to the Learning Assistance Center, you know, the little grove of trees. I think it’s just the most beautiful place on campus, just kind of walk through there and see that overhang. Off campus, I can’t tell you because I don’t want people showing up.” [laughs]

Where would you go on your dream vacation?
“I’d say Japan or China, I’d say somewhere in Asia between one of those two countries. I have a great appreciation for that culture and the history that they have there and I’ve always wanted to visit China. I’ve been to Japan, but just for a short period, so I guess China, since I’ve never been there.”

What is the best advice you have received?
“When it comes to the handling of some things, I’ve heard that ‘No person is bigger than the program.’ I think as a head coach, keeping that in mind answers a lot of questions about things we have to do and the way we have to approach the day. If we’re continuing to keep the bigger picture, the bigger goal and the immortality of the program in mind, I think it helps a lot of what we do and the way we approach things, that the program continues after me, the program continues after they graduate, there’s a legacy we have to leave.”

Who is your favorite artist?
“Well, Michael Jackson is the greatest artist of all time. Second to him was Prince. Unfortunately, we’ve lost both of them in recent years, but those are the top two.”

–Compiled by Bryan Ramos

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