TULSA, Oklahoma – The Tulsa Shock announced Saturday morning that head coach Nolan Richardson has stepped down and will be replaced on an interim basis by Teresa Edwards.
The Shock lost to the Phoenix Mercury Friday night to fall to 1-10 on the season. After the game, Richardson met with co-owner David Box and determined it was in Tulsa's best interest for Richardson to resign his coaching duties.
"Despite the disappointing start to this season for the Tulsa Shock, the decision to consider a coaching change in mid-season was extremely difficult," Box said in a statement. "Coach Richardson is a legendary basketball coach who has earned the respect of the collegiate and professional basketball family for an exceptional body of work during his impressive 30-plus-year career."
Richardson began his collegiate coaching career at West Texas Junior College in 1978, and afterward moved on to the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas. He is the only coach in NCAA history to lead teams to winning an NCAA title, an NIT title and a Junior College National Championship.
After leaving Arkansas amid controversy in 2002, Richardson coached the Panamanian and Mexican National Teams before joining the Shock in 2009. The Shock went 6-28 in his first season as head coach.
"While I am saddened to leave the Tulsa Shock at this time and in this manner, I am also very disappointed in the way we have started the year, and as coach, I accept my share of the responsibility," Richardson said in a statement. "I respect our organization and players. I will be forever thankful for the unique opportunity Bill and David and the entire ownership group gave me to re-enter coaching basketball, something I love to do and missed dearly."
Richardson will be replaced by Teresa Edwards, who has acted as the team's Director of Player Personnel. Edwards was a two-time All-American while playing for Georgia and was an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx before joining the Shock before this season.
"In a short period of time, Coach Richardson taught me a lot about basketball and life," Edwards said in a statement. "He was always gracious to me and he was passionate about the game and his players … While the record may not bear it out today, he is a winner in every aspect both as a coach and a citizen. I want to personally thank him and wish him the best."
The Shock will not have much time to deal with the coaching change. They will travel to Phoenix to face the Mercury again at 5 p.m. Sunday.