(CARLISLE, Pa.) – Recently retired Head Swimming Coach Paul Richards has been inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, highlighting his swimming career as an athlete and head coach. He was a standout athlete at Meyers High School, swimming to three District titles and earning All-State honors in the 400-freestyle. He went on to swim at Division II Bloomsburg University and won a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship in the 400 free relay.
Following a truly stellar coaching career at Dickinson College, Paul retired at the end of the academic year in 2020. During his time at Dickinson he also served as the Aquatics Director, Chair of the Physical Education Department and a valued member of the faculty.
While at Dickinson Paul was actively involved with many groups and many community events on campus. He was very supportive of different student groups and provided mentorship and leadership, not only to his own students and student-athletes, but anyone who needed it. He served as an advisor for a number of campus organizations, including Relay for Life, Scroll and Key and Spectrum.
In his 26 seasons at Dickinson he compiled a 200-102 record with the women's team, recording his 200th at Washington College last January and had a 174-98-1 mark with the men's program. He recorded his 500th win on November 8, 2019 and finished with 506 combined in his career.
Under Coach Richards the swimming program produced has two Fulbright Scholars and has had a remarkable number of student-athletes inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, recognizing college and university graduates with the highest grade-point-averages in the country. In every semester since Richards took over the program in 1994, at least one of Dickinson's swim programs earned All-Academic Team awards from the College Swim Coaches Association of America.
Before Richards arrived at Dickinson, he had a highly successful career at Mary Washington College in Virginia where he led his team to nine conference championships. He captured two titles in the Atlantic States Swimming Conference and led the men to Capital Athletic Conference titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993 while the women's program won four straight championships from 1991-1994.
During his career, Richards produced seven All-Americans at Hartwick, 37 at UMW and has added nine honors during his tenure at Dickinson. He has been named the Coach of the Year nine times, earning seven in the Capital Athletic Conference and one each in the Atlantic States Swimming Conference and the Centennial. Earlier this year he was voted into the South Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.