Rena (Ree-nuh) Richardson begins her fourth season as the head coach for the Golden Hurricane women's soccer program.
Over the past three years, Richardson has led Tulsa to a 23-30-7 overall record and a mark of 11-13-2 in conference action. The Hurricane has won more games over the last three years than the three seasons prior to Richardson's arrival.
As busy as the team has worked on the field, Richardson has the Golden Hurricane achieving great success in the classroom and community as well. Tulsa has twice received the NSCAA/adidas Academic Team Award, and a total of 43 players have received all-conference academic honors. The women's soccer team claimed the TU Athletic Department's "Outstanding Team Community Service" award for 2004-05 and 2005-06.
In 2006, Tulsa advanced to the Conference USA Tournament for the first time in just its second year in the league, but dropped a 1-0 decision to top-seeded SMU in first round action. Tulsa also maintained city bragging rights with a 3-0 shutout over cross-town rival Oral Roberts, and posted shutouts over Georgia Southern (5-0) and Missouri State (1-0). Even though the Golden Hurricane claimed just seven wins (7-11-1), when TU did win, they had a 2.14 average win margin. Tulsa also had a better shooting percentage (.128), shots on goal percentage (.556) and saves percentage (.781) than their opponents. Senior Katie Ward was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI First Team and 19 student-athletes received C-USA Academic honors.
Tulsa improved its win total by two games from 2004 to 2005 with a 9-9-2 overall mark. The Golden Hurricane overcame injuries to key players to knock off eventual Conference USA Tournament champion, Rice, regained city bragging rights with a dominating win over Oral Roberts, set a school record for the fastest goal (0:23) and held one opponent shotless. Ward, a junior, was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI First Team and 15 student-athletes received C-USA Academic honors.
During her first season in 2004, Richardson faced the difficult task of rebuilding the Golden Hurricane after a 5-12-1 campaign in 2003. Tulsa got off to a slow start, winning just three times in the first 10 games, but Richardson's steady hand and patience paid off as she turned the season around in early October by adjusting her line-up and instilling a blue-collar work ethic. TU knocked off first-place UTEP at home and rallied for a 4-3-1 finish in Western Athletic Conference play, which was good enough for fifth place and a spot in the WAC Tournament. However, Tulsa did not settle on just qualifying for the conference postseason tournament. The Golden Hurricane made waves in the Hawaiian Islands by knocking off fourth-seeded and tournament host, Hawaii, 4-3, on penalty kicks. TU then fell to eventual champion, SMU, 1-0, in the WAC Tournament semifinals. TU completed the year with a 4-4-2 record in its final 10 games.
In her first year, Richardson also had the Hurricane excelling off the field as nine Tulsa players garnered all-WAC Academic Team honors and sophomore Katie Ward was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI Second Team. A total of 16 players were selected to either the President's and Dean's List, or the TU Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
Richardson became the fifth head coach in the 17-year history of the Tulsa women's soccer program on December 19, 2003. The University of Tulsa marks her third career head coaching job with previous stops at the University of Louisiana-Monroe and at Hardin-Simmons University.
Richardson came to Tulsa after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama, where she helped the Crimson Tide post a three-year mark of 31-21-5. Prior to Alabama, Richardson spent two seasons as the head coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where she undertook the difficult task of starting a Division I women's soccer program, and led the team to 10 wins.
Before her head coaching job at Louisiana-Monroe, Richardson was an assistant coach at Texas A&M University for two seasons. She helped the Aggies compile a two-year record of 32-11, including an 18-3 mark in 1997 and a Big 12 Conference regular season and tournament championship. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament both years.
Richardson began her coaching career as the interim head coach at her alma mater, Hardin-Simmons, for the 1994 campaign and was named the head coach the following season. She spent a total of three years as the head coach at Hardin-Simmons and led the team to an 11-9 overall record and a conference title in 1996. She was named the conference coach of the year that same season.
Richardson was a four-year letterwinner as a midfielder and served as team captain for four seasons at Hardin-Simmons. She was the team MVP in 1990 and 1993 and completed her career ranked second on the school's all-time scoring list with 92 points on 36 goals and 20 assists.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Richardson graduated from HSU with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology in 1994.
Richardson currently holds a United States Soccer Federation B national coaching license.
Richardson, 36, and her husband, Kevin, have two sons: Bryce (8) and Ty (4). The family resides in Owasso, Okla.
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