Rod Richardson, a Putnam City North assistant football coach for the last decade, has been named the Panther's head coach. He replaces Bob Wilson, who announced his retirement from coaching ranks in early April.
Richardson served as the Panther's wide receivers coach for nine years before becoming the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last year. For the past five years he has also served at the school's head baseball coach, where his teams have racked up 100 wins and gone to the state tournament twice. Before coming to Putnam City North, Richardson spent a season as an assistant football coach at Deer Creek and another season as an assistant baseball coach at Choctaw.
Success on the field is something Richardson has known all his life. He was a two-sport star at Midwest City in the mid-1990s. On the gridiron, Richardson was a backup quarterback on the Midwest City teams that won state championships in 1994 and 1995, the latter being the last year a team from the western part of the state won the title. In 1996, Richardson started taking snaps as the Bombers' starter and led the team to a state runner-up finish. He also started three years for the Bombers' baseball team, including the 1995 team that finished second in state. In college, Richardson spent four years as a starting catcher for the University of Central Oklahoma and earned a spot on the first-team all-conference team in 2001.
"Sports are something that were always part of my family's lifestyle. My dad was a principal at Del City High School and I grew up attending athletic events as soon as I was old enough to walk. I idolized those guys playing on Friday nights and I knew that's what I wanted to do as I got older," Richardson said.
Dr. Brian Chastain, principal at Putnam City North, says Richardson has the characteristics the search team was looking for.
"Rod Richardson is someone with passion, excitement and unlimited energy who will build upon Putnam City North's tradition of excellence," Chastain said. "He knows our players, families and community and has proven that he knows how to lead a team and run an athletic program."
Richardson, who orchestrated the no-huddle offense at Putnam City North last year, sees next year's team continuing with an up-tempo attack and being a team that plays hard and fast on both sides of the ball.
The prospect of serving as the Panthers football coach after he gives up the head baseball job at the end of the season is exciting for Richardson.
"I've been lucky to learn under some of the best coaches our state has ever had," Richardson said. "They taught me so much about building character and responsibility in young men and how to prepare them to succeed on the field. Now the challenge is mine. I'm thrilled and humbled to be trusted to run such a storied 6A-1 football program."