MORGAN’S FINEST: ALVIN RICHARDSON

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By R. Alan Richardson

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Again, there may be a question here because he’s my brother, but I had a chance to see him play, you would know his record stands without question.  Actually he’s pretty high up on the list I would think.  How many athletes have played at Morgan County and earned eight letters, 4 in basketball and 4 in baseball.  I’m sure there are a number around that had more than that, but it’s pretty impressive to letter as a freshman in two different sports.    

Alvin was a 6-2 point guard and two-guard who had perfect form on his jumper, passed it like Maravich, and was a nightmare to play against on defense.  In baseball he played shortstop and pitched.  He could bring some heat and had great range in the field.

After high school he went to Middle Georgia and tried out for the team where he met lifetime friend, David Parden.  Both tried out for the team but neither made it.  They decided to work their tail off, transfer to  Georgia College, and walk-on. Richardson went on to a stellar career there leading the team in steals and assists under Coach Stan Aldridge.  In their second season, they took home the conference tournament championship.  By the end of his career, he had placed himself in a few of the top 10 statistical categories in the young program’s history. 

He only played one year of baseball.  That was his senior year where he started every game at shortstop for the Colonials.  He hadn’t played baseball in five years, but his skills immediately caught the attention of John Kurtz.  That brings his total of letters in college to five.  How many players from Morgan do we have that have earned letters in multiple sports?  Not a bad day’s work for an old country boy from Rutledge.

After college he took his first teaching and coaching job at Cook County in Adel, Georgia where he took over the head basketball duties and served as an assistant football coach while teaching social studies.  He quickly found out it was a dead end job in basketball, but also found a young lady who caught his eye.  Her name was Laura Whidby.  She was a student and cheerleader.  It didn’t take the two long after she graduated to start dating.

That was 1977.  The coach decided to make the move to Lincoln County in 1979 and work under Larry Campbell.  You know this guy.  Winningest football coach in Georgia with a million wins (400+).  Although Alvin went there as the head basketball coach and assistant football coach, he learned quickly under Campbell during their glory days winning four state championships while he was there.  He was hooked on a game he had never played before.

In 1981 the couple got married.  She had followed him to Lincoln and lived in Augusta to get her degree in accounting.  (He’s not nearly as smart as she is).  36 years is a long, hard ride, but they seem to have found a way to hold it together with beautiful daughters (Lindsey and Lucy).

Now back to football.  While in Lincoln, Richardson got the opportunity to interview for a head football coaching position at none other than his home town Morgan County High School Bulldogs in 1987.  Richardson recalled some of the highs and lows of coming home saying, “When I was offered the job, it was a dream come true.  One guy said that we hired a basketball coach to be our football coach.  It didn’t matter to me what people thought.  I had the confidence to get the job done.  From 87-92 were some of the best and worst memories of my life.  It took us three years to get things going, but in 1990 we went on a roll and finished in the final eight having upset Cedar Grove that the writers gave us no chance against.  Pepperell took us out in the next round.  They were a very good team.  However, the worst part of that season was spinal injury inflicted to D’Angelo Warren that paralyzed him from the neck down.  Today he is still fighting the good fight and I’ve heard he’s now driving.”

Later in his career Alvin was diagnosed with severe hypertension that led to chronic renal failure.  During the 1991 season he started on dialysis three times per week that took its toll on the coach.  “It was tough having to go for treatment every other day and then come home for those hot, grueling practices.”  He got a kidney from our mom, Mrs. Ila Mae Lindsey Richardson that helped with his energy, but it wasn’t quite enough.  He retired from coaching after the 1992 season, but it led to another chapter in his life.

He served 24 years in our school system as a coach, teacher, athletic director, vocational supervisor, assistant principal, and principal at Crossroads.

Richardson now fills his time with golf, hunting, fishing, poker, pool games, and hanging around honky tonks where people you don’t likely want to meet hang out.

How’s that for a career?  He has made a huge impact on kids, athletes, and the community.  Thanks Coach for being there for all of us.  We’ll see you at the next game!

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