Former Southern University football coach Pete Richardson returned to the Bluff Tuesday, August 21 to announce the inaugural Pete Richardson Classic during a press conference held inside the F.G. Clark Activity Center. He was joined alongside Southern University Athletic Director Roman Banks, SU System President-Chancellor Dr. Ray Belton, and Karron Alford of Visit Baton Rouge. Several coaches and administrators were also in attendance.
“They approached me about it, and I was excited,” said Richardson, who still resides in the greater Baton Rouge area. “Southern means a great deal to me and my family,” he went on to say.
During the press conference, it was announced that the first home game of every football season would be named after the Youngstown, Ohio native. An official logo was unveiled, along with the promotion of the Southern University Football Kickoff Extravaganza, featuring renowned recording artist Midnight Starr, among other events surrounding this year’s classic, which will see the Jaguars take on Langston University September 15 at A.W. Mumford Stadium. Individual tickets for the game will be on sale starting September 4.
“I had the pleasure of walking [Coach Rich] down the hall, and I felt that I was walking with a giant,” said Belton.
Banks and Richardson are well acquainted with one another, seeing that Coach Rich recognized that Banks still utilizes the same office from back when he joined the Southern coaching staff in 1996.
“Coach Rich means a lot to Southern University,” Banks commented. He also said that there are plans for Richardson’s name to be enshrined in the “Ring of Honor” inside of the stadium.
The 1998 football team will also be recognized during the game in celebration of the 20th SWAC Championship anniversary. All former players during the Richardson era were invited to participate in the Pete Richardson Classic, with special discount options available.
During his remarks, Richardson was quick to point out that Southern football had potential when he took over control of the program back in 1993. “The only thing it needed was direction.” 134 wins, 5 SWAC Championships, and four Black college football national championships later, it is unquestioned that Coach Rich directed Jaguar football to great success.
“The journey only lasts as long as the people around you,” he stated.
When asked about today’s game, Coach Rich said, “The game has changed a great deal with the speed and tempo of it, but the players remain the same, they still want to be coached, they still want to be disciplined,” He gave kudos to current head coach Dawson Odums on doing a great job with the team.
The last meeting between Southern and Langston was October 26, 1957, which ended in a 40-20 victory for the Jaguars. Southern has an all-time record of 11-8-4 versus Langston, an original member of the SWAC before departing the conference in 1957. The two schools share three SWAC titles dating back to the 1930s.