Funeral arrangements released for TJC basketball legend & pioneer Herb Richardson


UPDATE (12:45 P.M.) – Funeral arrangements have been released by the family for TJC basketball legend Herb Richardson.

His visitation will be Saturday, August 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The funeral will follow immediately after at the West Lake Baptist Church in Chandler.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the West Lake Baptist Church Student Ministries at 1439 FM 315, Chandler, TX 75758. Masks are encouraged.

The minister will be Dr. Lee Evans. Richardson’s burial will take place at Menard Chapel Cemetery in Segno, which is just southeast of Livingston in Deep East Texas.

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Many around Tyler Junior College believe Herb Richardson’s impact and influence will be felt for many generations to come.

The man who practically started the TJC women’s basketball program, died Wednesday after a brief illness at the age of 93.

A Livingston native, Richardson is one of the original inductees to the TJC Sports Circle of Honor, which began in 1995.

He played basketball for the Apaches in 1948-1949 under the great Floyd Wagstaff, and was their first All-American.

Richardson helped them win the 1949 NJCAA national championship.

Then after an all-conference career at the University of Houston, he became a high school head basketball coach at Mount Pleasant and Van, before returning to Tyler to be an assistant for the Coach Wag from 1957-62.

Then came his pioneer tenure as the Apache Ladies head man. He was 236-47 from 1975 to 1983 with a national runner-up finish in 1979, and a pair of national coach of the year awards.

Even after he retired, he remained involved, never hesitating to lend his support, and was a constant at TJC sporting events until his passing.

TJC athletics director Kevin Vest calls Richardson a “Walking encyclopedia of the history of Apache athletics.”

Former A.D. Dr. Tim Drain said the TJC athletic department would not be what it is with its incredible success of 62 national championships without people like Richardson.

“One of my largest resources to find out what T-J-C was, what T-J-C athletics was, was Herb, and so to hear of his passing, ah, I know he’s in a better place, but I’m telling you he will be sorely, sorely missed. I’ve always imagined Herb, ah you know if you got a Mount Rushmore of T-J-C athletics, you know obviously coach Wag is in there, but I think nuzzled really, really close to him was Herb,” said Drain.

“To be able to look up there and see his smile and know that he still appreciates that we’re kind of carrying that torch, this place played such an influential role in his life but I think it also demonstrates how much he appreciated that influence reaching, more generations, and more generations and more generations,” said Vest.

One of Richardson’s sons Mike Richardson, is now the athletics director at Cumberland Academy in Tyler.

Watch the video to see the story.

Tyler Junior College Athletics Press Release:

One of the giants of Apache Athletics, Herb Richardson, has passed away.  Richardson was 93 years old.

After graduating from Livingston High School in 1945 and serving two years in the United States Army, Richardson began a long and storied history at Tyler Junior College.  Recruited by legendary coach Floyd Wagstaff, Richardson would play two years of basketball for Tyler, earning All-American honors in 1948 and leading the Apaches to a National Championship in 1949.  He continued his career at the University of Houston, where he would be named All-Conference both years and go on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science Degree and Master’s of Physical Education. 

Richardson then embarked on a legendary coaching career, starting at Mt. Pleasant High School where he went 55-9 over two seasons.  In 1952, he would take the head job at Van and lead them to a 126-24 record before leaving to return to Tyler Junior College and serve as assistant coach for Wagstaff. 

When Tyler Junior College started a women’s basketball program in 1975, Richardson became their first coach and led the Apaches to a 236-47 record in eight seasons.  In 1979 he led Tyler to a second place finish at the national tournament and was named the National Coach of the Year.  He would be named the National Coach of the Year again in 1983. 

Richardson was later inducted to the Tyler Junior College Sports Circle of Honor as part of its inaugural class in 1995.  He was also awarded the Apache Spirit Award in 2004. 

Richardson married his wife Joann, who he met at Tyler Junior College, on June 3, 1952 and had four children Mike, Brady, Linda and Jesse who all graduated from Tyler Junior College.

 “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Richardson.  He was an absolute giant of Apache Athletics as a player, coach and mentor, and signified everything that is right about our beloved institution,” said Tyler Junior College Athletic Director Kevin Vest. “His love for and dedication to Tyler Junior College will be greatly missed.  On behalf of the Tyler Junior College community we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Joann and their family.”

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