“I’m very happy to have Jessica join our staff. She brings with her great experiences playing and coaching that will add greatly to our program,” Head Coach Richardson-Thornley said. “I’m very excited about her working with our talented group of power forwards and post players as she excels in player development at those positions.”
Richardson comes to CWU after a two-year stint as a graduate assistant for the Southern Utah women’s basketball program form 2017-19. Prior to coaching, she was a four-year member of the SUU team.
“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with Randi and the Central Washington family. Randi and the entire athletic staff are very positive and fun to work with,” Assistant Coach Richardson said. “I can’t wait to begin working with the team and start improving for this upcoming season.”
Richardson joined the Thunderbirds team in 2013 and was a member of the 2013-14 Big Sky Championship winning team as a freshman under head coach J.R. Payne. She appeared in 20 games off the bench for the Lady T-Birds that season and averaged 2.5 rebounds per game.
Richardson went on to become a staple in the starting lineup for the Thunderbirds over the next three seasons, starting in every game except for five. In her sophomore season, she finished second on the team in rebounding with 187. She also averaged 6.1 points per game and had the third-highest field goal percentage at 44.3%.
Richardson became the leading scorer for Southern Utah over the next two seasons, averaging 12.9 points per game in 2015-16 and 12.8 points per game in 2016-17. She also led the team in rebounding in 2015-16 averaging 8.1 rebounds per game.
Richardson finished her career with 982 points, good enough for 13th all-time. She is also top-10 all-time in field goal percentage (44.7%) and rebounding (684).
Following the end of her career at Southern Utah, Richardson graduated from SUU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and went on to play professional basketball in South America. She received her Master of Science degree from SUU in Sports Conditioning and Science.
Richardson is a graduate of the 2018 NCAA Women Coaches Academy class #46 that was held in Denver, Colorado. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy, hosted in partnership between WeCOACH and the NCAA, is a 4-day educational training available to NCAA coaches of all experience levels, and is designed for women coaches who are ready to increase their individual effectiveness by learning advanced skills and strategies that directly affect their personal and team success.