|Position:||Assistant Coach/Defensive Coordinator|
|Alma Mater:||Loyola University|
Paul Richards joined the program in time for the inaugural 2014 season as the defensive coordinator for the University of Richmond Spiders men’s lacrosse team. Along with running the defense, Richards also assists with the face-off unit including wing play.
“Coach Richards brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Richmond,” head coach Dan Chemotti said at the time of Richards’ hiring. “As a player and as a coach he has helped lead his teams to the NCAA playoffs, most recently helping lead Cornell to the NCAA Final Four in the 2013 season as their top assistant."
"To say that Coach Richards is hard working is an understatement, beyond that he is very professional, smart, honest, detail oriented, and loyal.”
The Spiders continued their defensive success in 2016, finishing third nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 7.44 goals per game. The team also finished first in the nation in caused turnovers and clearing percentage for the second-straight year. Junior Brendan Hynes ranked second in the nation in caused turnovers, while junior Ryan Dennis ranked ninth nationally in the same category.
In 2015 Richmond finished 6-0 in the new league and boasted the nation's second-most stingy defense. The Spiders allowed just 7.44 goals per game, within less than half a goal per game from the nation's leader. Richmond also led the country in clearing percentage and finished fourth in the country in scoring margin, winning on average by more than four goals per game. The Spiders boasted the league's Defensive Player of the Year in Brendan Hynes, while goalie Benny Pugh was second nationally in both save percentage (.590) and goal-against average (7.42) for the year.
Richmond made the jump from 12th in 2014 to sixth in caused turnovers per game in 2015. Richmond also was the second-best in the nation in man-down defense, allowing opponents to score in less than a quarter of their man-advantage opportunities. In the program's 33 games, the opponent has been held to less than 10 goals in nearly half of them (16).
Despite close results in the early going in 2014, it took the sixth game of the season for the team to break through and get a win against Vermont in Durham, North Carolina on March 8. That was the start of a run of four wins in eight games, including a pair of Atlantic Sun Conference games that propelled the young squad into the four-team ASun Championship Tournament. The Spiders beat both the top seed and host Mercer and second-seed High Point, avenging two regular-season losses and stringing together back-to-back wins for the first time in team history, and the one time that it mattered, as they earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA. The Spiders played at Air Force in the NCAA Tournament.
In just three seasons, Richmond has produced the league Rookie of the Year (2014) and Defensive Player of the Year (2015), as well as 19 members of an All-Conference Team. UR has placed 11 student-athletes on conferene All-Tournament teams, including the 2014 Tournament MVP. Seven Spiders landed on the All-Rookie Team in three seasons.
Richards arrived in Richmond after serving as an assistant coach at Cornell University for the three previous seasons. At Cornell, Richards was in charge of face-offs and substitutions, while also assisting with all facets of the offensive and defensive units. Richards also served as the recruiting coordinator for the Big Red during his time.
During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Richards helped direct a face-off unit that ranked 14th and 16th in the nation, respectively, with a 55 percent rate. Richards also assisted an offense that ranked in the top-10 nationally the past three years.
Prior to his time at Cornell, Richards spent the 2010 season working as the senior assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Washington College after spending one year as a volunteer assistant coach at Goucher College in 2009.
As a player, Richards was a first-team All-ECAC selection and North-South Senior All-Star at Loyola while serving as a team captain in 2008. He was also named to the preseason Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List as a senior and was tabbed as a 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American.
Richards finished his college career with 29 goals, 27 assists and 159 groundballs. Following graduation, he was the 37th overall pick in the 2008 Major League Lacrosse Draft and appeared in six games for the Washington Bayhawks.