Q & A with head Boys Basketball coach Greg Richards
Cody Allgor | Staff Writer
This season marks Greg Richards 25th as the head coach of the boys basketball team. Richards has been extremely successful in his tenure, amassing a record of 358-167 in his career. Richards has led the Comets to 6 total league titles (FAVC and GMC), including 2 GMC championships. Richards has effectively silenced the doubters who criticized Mason’s move to the GMC, as he’s won the conference twice despite many saying the program never would. Sports Writer Cody Allgor sat down with Coach Richards to talk about his career at Mason, and what coaching means to him.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: I graduated from Mason, we won’t say what year, but the best part for me is to come back and hopefully, make a difference in players and even coaches that coach for me. To be able to do that after I left and came back, I think that’s the biggest part.
Q: What has been your funniest moment coaching?
A: It was probably my fifth year as a coach. My son and one of his friends were our ball boys, and they would come over to practice. I was getting a little upset at our players and saying how they weren’t getting in their stance correctly and I was backpedaling and just so happened that my son’s friend was bent over, so he just flipped me backward. Here, I’m trying to yell and then they just started laughing and I had to laugh. He dropped me.
Q: The game of basketball has been changing throughout the years. How has your coaching style changed with it?
A: We really do a lot of the same stuff that we’ve done for a long time, but we’ve tweaked here and there and high school is different than college so you can’t recruit the exact style you want every year. So you got to go with the kind of players that you have. We’ve taken the foundation and just adjusted it along the way. I would say the players are a little bit more physically strong than when I first started. Weightlifting wasn’t even a part of the program because everybody said you’d get too strong, which now obviously, has changed in all sports.
Q: What is your favorite coaching memory?
A: Winning the district title. A couple years ago was the first time that we’ve ever won a district title in division one. It was an incredible feeling, and definitely a moment the program won’t forget anytime soon.
Q: Is the idea of leaving a legacy important to you?
A: To be honest, that’s not a big deal to me. I don’t really feel like I will have a legacy. You know, it’s just part of your job. It’s just doing your job every day, me doing my job for the last 24 years, and knowing that you’re doing it the right way — that’s what it’s really about..
Q: How critical is it for you to develop young players through your camp?
A: What’s really fun about that is to see, more often than not, someone that went to my camp six years ago now playing at the varsity level. I would say that besides move-ins, 95% of the guys that have ever played varsity basketball here have come through our camp. So I mean, that speaks for itself.
Q: What makes your current 2019-20 team special?
A: Well, it’s kind of hard because we’ve just started out, but let’s just say that we hope they’re really, really special. We have a lot of talented kids this year. But this is their team, they have to show their legacy or their foundation and see if that’s what they want, to get their numbers up on the board, to win that first regional final and get us to Columbus. So, we’re hoping that they are that special.
Photo contributed by Mason Basketball.