Bandits Sighted in Richmond, Richards Becomes Head Coach
February 7, 2005 -- The Richmond, VA franchise in the Atlantic Indoor Football League was christened the Bandits at a news conference held at their home arena, the Richmond Coliseum.
The team also named Rik Richards as their first head coach.
Richards joins the Bandits following two seasons with the Orlando, FL-based The Scouting Bureau, which publishes the Pro Personnel Report, servicing over 1,000 members of the National Football League by providing vital information on draft-eligible college seniors and prospective free agent talent.
Born in Seattle, WA, Richards, 29, began coaching at age 18. He spent three seasons coaching high school talent in Bismarck, ND. His teams advanced to state playoffs in two of his three seasons.
He attended University of Mary, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school located in Bismarck, where he served as tight ends coach and team recruiter. The school made the NAIA playoffs in both of his two seasons there.
His first professional coaching came in January 2000 with the Indoor Football League's Bismarck Blaze as defensive line and special teams coach. The Blaze finished 13-4 and advanced to the IFL Championship Game against Peoria. Bismarck ranked first in the IFL that season in rush, pass and total defense. Eight members of his team -- six of them defensive players -- were selected to participate in the IFL Pro Bowl in Asheville, NC. Richards also was the only assistant coach to both coach and serve as defensive coordinator in that game.
He would later join the arenafootball2's Charleston (SC) Swamp Foxes as defensive coordinator in December 2000. In two seasons in that role, the Swamp Foxes were ranked in af2's Top 10 in total defense, including ranking fifth in pass defense among 34 teams in the 2002 season.
At 27, he became the youngest head coach in af2 history when he took over the Swamp Foxes in October 2002. He also served as the team's Director of Football Operations.
The 2003 squad finished the season first against the rush and in turnover margin, led the league in interceptions with 34; ranked second in pass defense rating, third in red zone defense, fourth in scoring and total defense, and fifth versus the pass among 27 teams that season. The Swamp Foxes would finish tied for second in the league that season at 9-7 and lost a tiebreaker to qualify for the ArenaCup playoffs.
The Swamp Foxes filed for bankruptcy in November 2003, but Richards quickly became the first head coach of the expansion Manchester (NH) Wolves of af2. He also served as Director of Football Operations & Player Personnel.
In his coaching career, Richards sent 12 players to NFL training camps and nine others to AFL training camps.
The Atlantic Indoor Football League is the hottest new professional football league and will kickoff its inaugural season April 16, 2005. For more information about the AIFL, visit www.aiflonline.com or contact Joey Josephs, Director of Media Relations, by phone at (407) 695-7137 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Indoor Football Association message board...
American Indoor Football Association Stories from February 7, 2005
- Bandits Sighted in Richmond, Richards Becomes Head Coach - Richmond Bandits
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Richmond Bandits Stories
- Seeing Redd, Bandits resign star wide receiver
- Third Time the Charm for Bandits' head coach Rik Richards
- Bandits crowned inaugural AIFL champions; Win 56-30 over Freeze
- Bandits, Freeze to Decide Inaugural AIFL Championship
- Bandits to Face Freeze in AIFL Championship on Saturday