The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 2, 2012

Jim Richards, the late longtime loyal assistant at Jefferson making history by going into hall of fame

Jim Richards was never a head football coach at Jefferson. He was never a head football coach at any school.

For 18 years, Richards, who passed away in September of last year, was a gridiron assistant in the County Seat. He was so widely respected in that role, he will be inducted into the Ashtabula County Football Hall of Fame tonight at the annual Touchdown Club Banquet on Monday at Mount Carmel Community Center.

“One of the best things about him being recognized is that he is the first assistant to be inducted in the Hall of Fame,” Richards’ brother, Ron Richards, said. “He was never a head football coach. He was a head track coach and helped with basketball, but he was never a head football coach.

“For him to go in as an assistant is tremendous,” Ron Richards said. “It shows what other people thought of my brother.”

Richards’ family is touched by the induction.

“It means a lot to the family,” Richards’ Wife, Mary, said. “I wish he were here to receive it. It would have meant a lot to him. Football really was his passion. He loved football. He loved all sports, really. He really loved football.

Richards would have enjoyed the honored and been humbled by it at the same time.

“He would be very humbled by this,” Ron Richards, an Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame member said. “He came and really supported me and then our cousin, Tim, when we went into the (basketball) Hall of Fame.”

“It’s hard that he’s not here to get it,” Mary Richards said. “I know it would have meant so much to him.

“I think he would have been totally overwhelmed because he didn’t look at himself as that important. He always felt he wanted to do the right thing and be fair to all of his students. He made a good impression on them, too. He wanted them to understand that working together would help them later in life.

“He would’ve been very grateful. I’m glad Ron will be there. He’s been there for our family. He’s been a great support during a very difficult time.”

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