Squalicum's Reed Richardson out as Storm football coach

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 24, 2014 

Reed Richardson Squalicum

Squalicum High School football head coach Reed Richardson, shown during a football game at Civic Stadium on Sept. 22, 2012, will not return for the 2014 season, the school announced Jan. 22, 2014.

ANDY BRONSON — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

After nearly a decade at the helm, Squalicum’s Reed Richardson will not be coaching the Storm football team next season.

Richardson and Squalicum Athletic Director Patrick Brown confirmed by phone that Richardson’s year-to-year contract will not be renewed for 2014. The decision was made Wednesday, Jan. 22.

In eight seasons (2006-13), Richardson compiled a 39-43 record and reached the Class 2A district playoffs four times. The Storm advanced to districts each year from 2008-10 and are coming off a 4-6 record last season.

Brown, in a phone interview, declined to comment when asked why Squalicum decided to move on but did give a statement about Richardson’s eight seasons as the Squalicum head football coach.

“First and foremost, Mr. Richardson is very passionate about football and our kids,” Brown said. “He put in a lot of time and effort into our program. I thank him for that and all the energy he put in to help our program grow.”

Brown declined to comment on all further questions, including how he would describe Squalicum’s 2013 performance, what affect a possible student petition to bring Richardson back may have and when the Storm will hire a new coach.

Richardson also declined to comment on the contract-renewal process but made it clear there were absolutely no allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct.

Richardson said he was informed of the news the Wednesday before winter break, but the decision didn’t become official until Wednesday, Jan. 22.

“I’m not excited about their decision,” Richardson said.

The longtime coach is still very active at Squalicum. He teaches advanced placement classes and helped construct an AP human geography program. Richardson said his absence from football won’t affect his teaching career.

“They said it had nothing to do with my teaching,” Richardson said. “My principal told me, ‘You’re a great teacher.’ … I’ll absolutely still teach.”

Richardson had a career .475 winning percentage, but he put together three winning seasons. His best record was 6-4, which he had in both 2006 and 2012. The Storm won six of its first seven games in 2012, but lost its final three, including a 44-16 defeat to Archbishop Murphy during the Class 2A Northwest District Playoffs.

Last year followed a similar pattern, as Squalicum began 3-1 then lost its last five games of the regular season before beating Cedarcrest 64-36 during a crossover game.

“You always want to win more games,” Richardson said. “That would have been nice. I look at last year; we started two freshmen both ways. We had a few seniors, but we also had two or three different sophomores start both ways. I don’t see it as a horrible year.”

What Richardson considers success goes beyond on-field production.

He said he wanted honesty, integrity, pride and family to be the foundation of his program.

“I think we’ve done that,” he said. “I think that’s exactly what we’ve done. I think the kids that came through would say that they were treated like family. We were honest and showed integrity with each of them. I think all of them would say that.”

Part of the reason Richardson didn’t consider 2013 a down year was because of those intangible qualities he said he prides his team in having.

Richardson said his team “had fun,” and he was extremely proud of the group’s 3.2 grade-point average. He said there were “very few discipline problems” and added that “it showed character of the kids we had.”

At least a few in the Squalicum community have expressed dismay with the decision to cut ties with Richardson. A Facebook page entitled “Keep Richie as Our Football Coach” was created Wednesday, Jan. 22, and it had 322 likes as of late Friday, Jan. 24.

“I appreciate the support from the kids, from staff members at Squalicum, from the community,” Richardson said. “It feels good to know they have your back.”

Brown would not comment on what effect the Facebook page or a petition may have on Richardson’s coaching future.

The longtime coach said he plans to take some time off before getting back on the football field.

“I’ve gotten a couple of calls asking, ‘To come coach with me as kind of a dry run,’” Richardson said. “I think at this point I want to take a little more time. I have a 7-year-old daughter who means the world to me.” Richardson also wanted to thank his wife, Lisa Richardson.

“She has been a wonderful coach’s wife through eight years of watching film,” he said. “She has been absolutely incredible.”

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates. Visit http://www.bellinghamherald.com/sports-blog/index.html for blog posts on the latest county sports news.

STORM BREWING
A look at the Squalicum Storm football team under coach Reed Richardson

Season W-L Postseason
2006 6-4 Did not advance
2007 4-6 Did not advance
2008 5-6 Lost in 2A district playoffs
2009 6-5 Lost in 2A district playoffs
2010 5-5 Lost in 2A district playoffs
2011 3-7 Did not advance
2012 6-4 Lost in 2A district playoffs
2013 4-6 Did not advance
Total 39-43

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