Alma Mater: Stanford '93
Bio: As head coach at Vanderbilt, Martha Richards has proven herself in many roles.
As a teacher, motivator and mentor she has shown a veteran's touch of someone that has seen virtually every situation and can draw from her wealth of experience for the good of the individual and the program.
The result after six years in Nashville is a Commodore program that's widely considered to be on the move.
Richards' energy, enthusiasm and drive to succeed have helped carry the Commodores to NCAA regional appearances every year with three of her squads advancing to the NCAA Championship finals. She directed the 2004 team to the program's first Southeastern Conference crown and a school-best fifth-place finish nationally.
Voted SEC Coach of the Year in 2003 & 2004, Richards continues to develop some of the best players in collegiate golf. She has mentored six Commodore All-Americans, including sophomore Jacqui Concolino and senior Chris Brady who earned the distinction last season. Other Vanderbilt All-Americans under Richards include Sarah Jacobs, Nicki Cutler, Courtney Wood and May Wood. Jacobs, Cutler and May Wood currently play professionally.
Under Richards' guidance, the 2006 squad reclaimed Vanderbilt's standing among the nation's elite. Climbing from a No. 47 ranking at the close of the 2005 campaign to No. 14 at year's end in 2006, the Commodores reestablished themselves with better consistency and improved depth. Twice last season, the squad set the school's team mark for lowest single round total (279) at both the Mason Rudolph Championship and the SEC Championship. Concolino became the program's first player to receive All-America and first team All-SEC accolades as a freshman. Brady gained All-SEC recognition for the third time in her career and was named third-team All-America by Golfweek magazine.
All the while, Vanderbilt players have performed with similar success in the classroom. The Commodore women's golf team has been listed on the SEC All-Academic Honor Roll 23 times since Richards became head coach. In fact, every member on the squad was named to the list in 2005.
In summer 2006, Richards earned the honor of coaching the U.S. women's team in the USA vs. Japan College Golf Championships in Tochigi, Japan.
The Vanderbilt community quickly realized that Richards would take the women's golf program to newfound acclaim after she was hired in June 2000. She came to Vanderbilt after serving nearly three seasons as an assistant at the University of Texas where she helped the Longhorns to two Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championship. Four Longhorns earned Big 12 academic honors while eight were named all-league.
Richards played collegiate golf at Stanford where she earned All-Pac-10 honors and All-America distinction from the National Golf Coaches Association in 1993. She also later was named to the Pac-10 All-Decade Golf Team. During 1990, she was a shooting guard and small forward on the Cardinal women's basketball squad that won the NCAA title.
Following her collegiate golf career, Richards worked as a volunteer assistant coach at Stanford before she embarked on a career as a playing professional.
Richards competed on the LPGA Tour in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, she served as a teaching professional with the Jim McLean Golf Academy in Foster City, Calif. There she was involved with the Executive Women's Golf Association and managed the instruction of the LPGA Junior Girls Club.
She is a native of Hudson, Wis., and was the 1988 National High School Basketball Player of the Year.
The Richards File
October 6, 1969
Communications, Stanford, `93
Head Coach, Vanderbilt
Assistant Coach, Texas
1998 (Feb.) - 2000
Head Coach, Boise State
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Stanford
NGCA Golf All-American (1993)
Pac-10 All-Conference Team (1993)
Pac-10 All-Decade Team (1990s)
LPGA Tour: 1994-96