Richey steps down as assistant AD/Women’s Basketball Head Coach at Oglethorpe U

Alex Richey announced his decision to step down from his role as Oglethorpe assistant director of athletics for compliance and head women’s basketball coach. Richey’s last day will be May 31.

Richey has accepted the position as head of girls basketball program at The Westminster Schools.

“For the past 17 years I have called Oglethorpe home as both a student-athlete and basketball coach,” Richey said. “From the championships with our teams, making the best friends anyone could ever ask for, and even proposing to my wife in the academic quad, this place has given me so much and I will be forever thankful for all of the incredible memories and people that have helped shape me into who I am today.”

Richey, a 2011 alumnus of Oglethorpe and 1,000-point scorer in his time as a player, returned to his alma mater in 2014 and spent 10 seasons building the Stormy Petrel women’s basketball program into a national contender. His team won the Southern Athletic Association regular season three times, postseason tournament twice, and made the national tournament three straight years starting in 2018.

Richey was a finalist for NCAA coach of the year in 2020, named SAA coach of the year in 2018 and 2020, and amassed a win-loss record of 154-103 (59.9%) during his time with Oglethorpe. He steps down as the winningest coach in Oglethorpe women’s sports history.  

“I would like to thank Coach Richey for his dedicated and unwavering service over the past 12 years,” said Todd Brooks, Oglethorpe director of athletics. “He has left an indelible mark on our women’s basketball program, establishing it as a nationally respected and competitive program. Although I hate to see someone of Alex’s ability and character leave us, I cannot help but be excited for him and his family relative to the wonderful opportunity he has elected to pursue. I wish him the very best in this next chapter of his career.”

Richey made a quick impact on the Oglethorpe women’s basketball program, taking it from finishing in the bottom two of the conference six straight seasons to winning its first SAA title in just his fourth year. From there, he ushered in an era of basketball marked by domination.

This era started with a 21-win season in 2017-18, culminating with both the SAA regular season and tournament titles. It marked the first time Oglethorpe won the SAA in the short history of the league and the first time since 2009 the team had produced a title. It also qualified the Petrels for the NCAA tournament, their first trip to the big dance since 2009.

Richey earned SAA coach of the year in that 2018 season, but he and the Petrels were hardly satisfied. They followed in 2019 with a 23-win season and a second-round NCAA appearance before dominating the 2020 slate with a 29-1 record which included an undefeated streak of 14 SAA games. It was little surprise that the Petrels won the regular season and tournament once again, this time marking the second time in three years they won both the regular season and conference tournament.

Sadly, Oglethorpe’s historic 2019-20 season came to an end at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Petrels were riding a 27-game winning streak and had advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 when the NCAA announced the season would go unfinished.

Richey’s program extended its winning streak to 34 games, ranking 16th all-time in Division III history, the following season and bounced back by again winning the conference. It was the third SAA title for Oglethorpe in the four-year span beginning in 2017-18.

In total, this four-year era included a record of 80-18 overall and 43-7 in the SAA. The team won three regular-season titles and two tournament titles while qualifying for the NCAA tournament three times. This included matching the program record in advancing to the third round (Sweet 16).

Richey’s team achieved a national ranking as high as No. 4, a program record, and set program records with an in-season 27-game winning streak and overall 34-game winning streak.

More recently, Richey’s program last won the conference in 2021 and advanced to the championship game of the league tournament in 2022. The Petrels have placed 11 on the All-SAA team since 2021, including the newcomer of the year in Keimarya Rivera in 2023. Rivera marks one of seven times one of Richey’s players earned distinction as SAA player of the year, defensive player of the year or newcomer of the year in his 10 seasons.

Prior to returning to Oglethorpe as head coach, Richey graduated from Oglethorpe in 2011 after a successful playing career as a Stormy Petrel. He scored 1,097 career points as one of 33 players in Oglethorpe history to make the 1,000-point club, ranking 26th all-time. Richey also recorded 213 career assists as one of 22 players in the 200-assist club, ranking 20th all-time.

Richey’s career high in scoring came in 2009 in a 34-point game, and he led the team in scoring and made 3-pointers in 2010. Richey’s postseason recognitions included making the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association (GABCA) all-state first team in 2010 and honorable mention in 2011. He was Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) All-Conference third team in 2010 and honorable mention in 2011.

“It is bittersweet knowing that my time here is ending,” Richey said, “but I know that the legacy we have created together with the amazing young people I have gotten to work with on and off the court during my time here will never be forgotten. I will always be a Stormy Petrel and look forward to supporting this special place for the rest of my life.”

A search for a permanent head coach is underway.

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