by Wil Teague, Sports Information Director
News on the Ridge! As the 2023 Lady Pioneers Basketball season is now officially over, there have been some changes to the Pioneer Staff. After three years, Head Coach Brad Phillips has decided to depart ways with CRC as he plans to take on a new role and position in the newly launched A-SUN Aviators athletic programs. Phillips will be named the Aviators first Athletic Director and in 2024 he will resume his role in coaching as the school plans to start a Women’s Basketball program. Phillips has had three prosperous years at CRC with an official record of 41-34. Phillips led the Lady Pioneers to three consecutive conference tournament appearances and one national tournament appearance in 2020-21. Phillips finished his time at CRC with the school’s best overall record of 18 wins and 10 losses.
Towards the tail of the 2023 record season, the program welcomed Chris Richardson as he stepped into the assistant coaching role for the Pioneers. Richardson filled a void helping with the in-game coordinating of rotations and substitutions. He also helped schedule out practice plans, game plans and co-ran practices and Phillips. Richardson in addition has stepped into the door of active recruiting for the program. With Richardson on the bench, the Pioneers went on a 6 game win streak, the longest in CRC history, only having it snapped in round one of the CAC tournament to Arkansas Baptist with Richardson ending his assistant role 6-1.
“The team was excited to have Coach Richardson among them as he brought youth, energy, and experience to the girls” – said Coach Phillips.
Richardson comes from a sports filled background as he graduated from Williams Baptist University with two Bachelor Degrees in 2013. One on K-12 Health and Physical Education and another in Arts in History. He played four years of baseball at WBU and was selected as the captain of the team his senior year. Richardson worked at his Alma-Mater as Assistant Sports Information Director and Assistant Softball Coach for one season as he completed his masters degree in Sport Administration from Arkansas State University in 2014. Before coming to CRC Richardson was the head Softball Coach at Rector High School (Ark.) for three seasons where he led the Lady Cougars to three successful seasons and was nominated twice for the all star coach for the 2A-3 Conference. While at Rector High School, Richardson served as the Women’s assistant coach for the basketball team over five seasons. The Lady Cougars finished in the Elite Eight of the 2A state tournament in 2022 and made back-to-back state tournament appearances for the first time in school history. The squad also finished as runner-up in the conference in consecutive seasons.
” I’m excited to be able to go to ASU- Newport and be their first Athletic Director, but I’m incredibly sad to be leaving the best team CRC has seen. These girls are great, it’s hard saying goodbye to such a great team but like I said before, Chris brings good energy and experience to the program, he will do great here. He is a true student of the game and has a-lot to offer CRC.”- Brad Phillips
” I am honored and thrilled to be the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at CRC. I would like to thank President Richard Johnson and our Athletic Director Paul McFadden for this opportunity. I would also like to thank Brad Phillips for this investment into the program and our student-athletes. Crowley’s Ridge College has been a blessing to our entire family and I could not be more excited.” Chris Richardson
Athletic Director Paul McFadden commented on the news as well,
“We want to wish Coach Phillips good luck as he moves on from CRC to ASUN. He helped the lady Pioneers make good progress in building our program.”
“We are excited to have Coach Chris Richardson take over our Women’s Basketball program for the upcoming season. He brings good experience from the high school ranks (Rector High School) and will jump right in to continue our program that has experienced success over the last few seasons. I feel Coach Rich will do an outstanding job in recruiting and coaching the Lady Pioneers in the Fall of 2023.”- Paul McFadden CRC Athletic Director
Exciting times are upon us at the Ridge. There are many more records to be set and broken at CRC. Good-luck Coach Phillips and welcome aboard Coach Richardson! #GOPIONEERS