EKU Hall of Fame athlete and legendary Madison Central coach, Don Richardson, passes away

In 2015, Don Richardson released an autobiography called Fodder on the Ground, which was co-written by Kyle Sowers. 

Former Madison Central baseball and basketball coach, Don Richardson, passed away on Saturday, May 2 at the age of 88 after a lengthy illness.

“Madison Central Athletics is sad to announce that legendary Baseball and Basketball Coach Don Richardson passed away today. Coach Richardson was an icon in Madison Central Athletics history. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends. RIP Coach #legend,” according to Madison Central Athletics on Saturday.

Richardson was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Fame in 2019. He played for the EKU baseball team for four years. He played from 1952 through 1954 before entering the United States Army following his junior season.

During his freshman and sophomore seasons pitching for EKU, he held a 5-1 and 4-1 record. In the 1954 season, he led the Colonels to its third Ohio Valley Conference championship in a five-year span, going 8-3 on the mound. Richardson returned to pitch his senior year for EKU in 1957 after serving in the U.S. Army and had a 5-2 record on the year.

On the mound, he compiled a career pitching record of 22-7 at EKU. During his time in the U.S. Army, he pitched for the U.S. Armed Forces team, pitching for the Camp Losey baseball team that captured the 1955 Caribbean Command Championship.

Richardson was one of the most successful high school coaches in Kentucky.

He was inducted into the National Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998 and inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletics Association Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also a member of the Kentucky Baseball Hall of Fame.

Richardson coached baseball for 35 years at Madison Central and finished his career with a 952-157 record.

Richardson led the 1982 Madison Central baseball team to a perfect 40-0 record and the KHSAA state title. Madison Central was also named the national high school baseball champions by USA Today. 

His 85.5 winning percentage still ranks as the best in KHSAA history. He was named the Kentucky High School Baseball Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983.

Richardson left a long lasting mark on the Madison Central baseball program as the baseball facility is named after him.

Along with coaching the Madison Central baseball team, Richardson coached basketball. 

In 16 seasons, Richardson won more than 350 games and led the Indians to their first state tournament appearance, reaching the semifinals in 1987.

“Madison Central lost a Legend in Coach Don Richardson,” Madison Central principal Brandon Fritz said in a Twitter post. “His work while at MCHS helped build a tradition that is still thriving today! We are forever grateful for his passion and vision for our school. His legacy will live on forever at Madison Central!”

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

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