Kareem Richardson was named the head coach at UMKC on March 19, 2013, becoming the sixth in the Division I era at UMKC. He enters his fourth season at the helm in 2016-17.
The 2015-16 team started the season with their best non-conference performances since 2010-11, winning seven games, including a home victory over Mississippi State and against NCAA Tournament participant South Dakota State. Junior Martez Harrison was named second-team All-WAC, and continued to climb the charts, finishing the season ranked fourth all-time in scoring, second in assists and third in steals. Junior LaVell Boyd added a scoring punch to the lineup, being named to the WAC All-Newcomer Team, hitting 81 threes. The Roos won a quarterfinal game for the second year in a row in the WAC Tournament, the first time since 2003 and 2004 that UMKC has done it in back to back seasons.
His second season in Kansas City as the head man was another step in the right direction in 2014-15, and generated several program firsts. The 8-6 WAC record was the first above .500 at UMKC since 2005-06, and its second place finish matched the highest ever in league play. UMKC finished with a 6-1 WAC home record, the best in school history in league play. The ‘Roos picked up a win in the WAC Tournament, the first for UMKC in the postseason since 2007. The ‘Roos also played 33 games, the most in school history. Martez Harrison was named an AP honorable mention All-American, becoming the first ever in D-I history. Harrison was also named the WAC Player of the Year, becoming the second UMKC player ever to win the award.
In his first year with the 'Roos in 2013-14, he led the team to a fifth place finish in the WAC, and the fourth seed in the conference tournament, both of which were the highest since 2006 at UMKC. The attendance increased 36 percent from the previous year, while overall winning percentage was an improvement from the last two years as well. Martez Harrison, one of his first recruits on the job, was named WAC Freshman of the Year. The Kansas City, Mo. product averaged 17.2 points per game, and set numerous freshman records at UMKC.
Prior to his arrival, Richardson served as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville under legendary coach Rick Pitino. He helped the Cardinals to the Big East tournament crown and the NCAA Tournament No. 1 overall seed, on the way to the 2012-13 National Championship.
Richardson also spent a season at UMKC in 2007-08 as an assistant. He has played and coached in the region, and has helped bring in well-ranked recruiting classes at every school during his coaching career.
Prior to his year at Louisville, Richardson made the most of one season at Xavier, helping the Musketeers reach the NCAA Sweet 16 and the finals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament that season while posting a 23-12 record. He helped the Musketeers land a Top 20 recruiting class in 2011.
Richardson, 39, had joined Xavier from Drake University, where he had been the head assistant coach for three seasons. He has also served on the basketball staffs at Evansville, Indiana State, Wright State and Indianapolis.
Richardson has been ranked as one of the top assistants in college basketball according to the basketball website Collegeinsider.com. He earned a reputation as a top-level recruiter during his time at Drake, serving as recruiting coordinator and helping head coach Mark Phelps secure the top-rated recruited class in the Missouri Valley Conference in two of his three years there. In his first year as assistant coach at Drake, Richardson helped lead the Bulldogs to post-season play during the 2008-09 season, in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Prior to Drake, Richardson was the top assistant with the UMKC men’s basketball program for the 2007-08 season. Richardson served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Evansville from 2003-07, one season (2002-03) at Wright State, as well as a stint at Indiana State (1999-2002). Richardson’s coaching career began at the University of Indianapolis from 1997-99.
Richardson helped Indiana State enjoy success. In 2000, he guided the Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the Larry Bird era in the late 1970s. A year later in 2001, Indiana State topped No. 4 seed Oklahoma to advance to the second round of the NCAAs.
As a player, Richardson played in an NCAA Tournament as a freshman at East Carolina University. He then transferred to Evansville in 1995 and quickly established himself as the Purple Aces’ top point guard. Richardson, who was a team captain two years, was selected to the Missouri Valley Conference all-academic team in both 1996 and 1997. In 1996, he received notoriety on the MVC all-underrated team. He was a first team all-state selection at Rantoul (Ill.) Township High School in 1992 and was twice named conference player of the year.
Richardson, who was born in Tacoma, Wash., graduated from Evansville with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and interpersonal communication in 1997 and received his MBA from the University of Indianapolis in 1999.
He and his wife, Greta, have three children, Jasmiyn, Amari and Andre.