FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas chancellor Joe Steinmetz has submitted a resolution for the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees to consider naming the court at Bud Walton Arena in honor of Nolan Richardson.
Richardson, a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, led the Arkansas Razorbacks to a NCAA men’s basketball national championship at the conclusion of the 1993-94 season, the only such championship in program history.
“Coach Nolan Richardson led the Razorbacks to 13 NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back Final Fours and the 1994 National Championship, as well as multiple conference and conference tournament championships,” said Hunter Yurachek, vice chancellor and director of athletics, in a statement.
Yurachek says that it was the excitement he witnessed from the fans at the 25th anniversary of the school’s national championship and realized that Richardson meant to more to the school than just a solitary championship.
Said Yurachek: “While I know many anticipated that we would utilize the anniversary of that championship to recognize Coach Richardson, his legacy is much larger than a single team or a single championship. We wanted all of his players, assistant coaches, staff members and Razorback fans to have an opportunity to join us next season as we formally dedicate Nolan Richardson Court.”
The resolution to name the floor Nolan Richardson Court will be considered at the board of trustees’ next meeting on March 27-28 in Hot Springs.
“Coach Nolan Richardson is not only a true Razorback legend, he is one of the most impactful coaches in the history of college basketball,” Steinmetz said in a statement. “In his 17 years at the University of Arkansas, he not only led the Razorbacks to unprecedented success, but also used his position in college basketball to help change the world around him. As the first African-American head coach in the Southwest Conference, he was a trailblazer helping to provide opportunities for many others to follow in his footsteps.”
Richardson is also a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.