Coach Mike Richardson
Beloved coach and counselor who started girls' soccer. Dr. Mike Richardson is credited as the coach who started girls' soccer at Pingry, serving as the team’s head coach for nearly two decades of the program’s existence. “Dr. Rich” coached winning teams but kept the focus on the players. He is known for his boundless patience, quiet modesty, and sense of humor. Coach Richardson was masterful at organizing girls’ athletics teams. With great care and forethought, he started the girls’ soccer program during the 1972-1973 season as a club team. The following season, the team ‘upgraded’ to junior varsity status. In the early days, there were only a handful of girls’ teams in the entire state, and it was Coach Richardson who found competition for the girls and organized transportation. With the Union County League still to be formed a few years later, it is thanks to Coach Richardson’s efforts that the early teams were able to play at all. Pingry girls’ soccer would not play a varsity schedule until the 1976-77 season. This team would post a winning record of 3-2-1, presaging victories to come. Under Coach Richardson’s guidance, Pingry girls’ soccer posted an overall record of 130- 81-15. They won two county tournaments, made it to the Prep Finals nine times, and took home the championship trophy four times. The 1988-89 team won both the Somerset County and State Prep School championships, and was inducted into the Pingry Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. Coach Richardson coached other sports at Pingry, and his influence helped develop boys’ soccer players, baseball players, swimmers, and runners at Pingry. A former Middle School Head, AP Psychology teacher, and school counselor, “Dr. Rich” was always looking for an opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives.