This weekend, the University Of Arkansas honored their 1994 National Championship basketball team at halftime of the Razorbacks victory over the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. For a very long time, Arkansas fans have pushed the school to at least put former Razorback coach, Nolan Richardson, name on the floor of Bud Walton Arena.
Former Razorback starter on that championship team, Clint McDaniel, went on record to say that he would not even come back to another game unless Richardson’s name would be on the court. WATCH: [wpvideo ZVGKVolR ]
Yes, things ended in a rocky way between Richardson and the University. Sweep it under a rug, build a bridge and get over it. What Coach Richardson did at Arkansas was not matched before or after his time here. He was a pioneer as the first African-American coach at a major D-1 school. Richardson is the only coach to have won championships at the junior college level, NCAA and NIT. In his 22 year head coaching career at the division one level, Richardson went to the postseason 20 times. Richardson was 508-206 as a head coach, 26-14 in the NCAA tournament and went 389-169 at Arkansas. The Razorbacks went to the Sweet 16 or better six times.
The football field is named after Frank Broyles who won a national championship in 1964 as the head coach. Duke and North Carolina have both named their courts after their current coaches. At Tennessee, Thompson-Bolling Arena is named after former women’s coach, Pat Summit. Eddie Sutton has his name on the court at Oklahoma State.
University of Arkansas, the wait is over. The time may have past, too. Yesterday was the perfect and right time to have officially named it Nolan Richardson Court at Bud Walton Arena.