DILLON — Russ Richardson, currently head athletic trainer at the University of Montana Western, has been named the university’s athletic director, Chancellor Beth Weatherby announced today.
“Russ brings a wealth of experience and proven leadership skills that will help guide us in taking our athletic programs and university to the next level,” Weatherby said. “My thanks to the search committee for their hard work, and to many across campus and in the community who assisted providing valuable input.”
“I’m excited to begin working right away to build on the success of our athletic programs and provide opportunities and resources to allow our student-athletes to have the chance to be a part of championship caliber teams,” Richardson said.
A 1982 graduate of then Western Montana College (now the University of Montana Western), Richardson also earned a master’s from California State University, Fresno and a doctorate from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
Richardson has served as the head athletic trainer and associate professor at UMW since 2012. He previously was a visiting professor at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho and director of athletic training at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. for 23 years.
A nationally recognized educator, Richardson has consulted with universities and colleges across the country on program development and assessment. He has served on leadership boards including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and served as president of the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association, District 10. Richardson was the head athletic trainer of the Hula Bowl All-Star Football Classic from 1998 to 2002.
Richardson will succeed Athletic Director Ryan Nourse who has served in the position since 2013. Nourse returns to the head football coach position for UMW.
Weatherby thanked Nourse for his leadership and energy in developing opportunities for our student-athletes.
The athletic director position directs the university’s athletic programs and serves as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet.
Richardson’s appointment will be submitted to the Montana Board of Regents for final approval.
He will assume his new duties May 16.
— Montana Western