Richards honored for commitment to local sports

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


SCOTT RICHARDS (right) receives congratulations from Plymouth Youth Athletic Association board member Randy Schmitz after receiving a plaque for being inducted into the PYAA Hall of Fame on June 9. Also pictured is Richards’ wife, Debbie. The ceremony was held at Arnold “Ozzie’ Pick Field in Plymouth. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley SCOTT RICHARDS (right) receives congratulations from Plymouth Youth Athletic Association board member Randy Schmitz after receiving a plaque for being inducted into the PYAA Hall of Fame on June 9. Also pictured is Richards’ wife, Debbie. The ceremony was held at Arnold “Ozzie’ Pick Field in Plymouth. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Coaching has been very rewarding for Plymouth’s Scott Richards for about the past 50 years.

His commitment to athletics in Plymouth was recognized with his induction into the Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame on June 9. Richards, who has coached youth and high school sports in Plymouth and guided PHS to a state summer baseball championship in 1982, knows how crucial volunteers are to athletic programs.

“You have to give time back. Programs rely on volunteers. The PYAA does a good job,” said Richards.

“You need people to get involved. I tell this to players now that nothing you do happens without the help from a lot of people.

“My brother, Tom, won a state championship as a pitcher in 1982 [for PHS] and he’ll tell you that they [Panthers] don’t get to that game without people before him and if people behind them didn’t help out. So, you need a lot of people,” said Richards.

“I’d like to thank the PYAA for everything they’ve done. This is truly an honor to be involved in the PYAA and to be on that Wall of Fame. I want to thank everyone for this honor. It’s a great, great honor.

“I really appreciate John [Richards, Scott’s brother] and Randy [Schmitz] and everything they’ve done and for this honor,” said Richards.

John Richards is the PYAA president and Schmitz is a PYAA board member.

“None of us can do what we did without people behind us to support us. My wife, Debbie, has been very supportive of my coaching.”

Scott Richards was asked what he has enjoyed about coaching.

“I’ve always enjoyed planning and preparing, and helping develop kids. You develop relationships with kids. It’s [coaching is] always been fun,” said Richards, 66, who began coaching when he was a student at Plymouth High School (class of 1969).

“It means much to me to see them [his former players] come back and visit with me. They like to talk about the team and what it was like to be on the team.

“I enjoyed working with the officials and news people, and I enjoyed the other coaches. There’s a lot of people you meet and get to know and be friends with,” said Richards.

He has been a coach at PHS since 1977. He was the head coach for the Panther boys’ basketball state tournament team in 2008 and was an assistant on the boys basketball team which advanced to state in 1990.

Richards coached PHS football for 30 years. He also coached boys junior varsity and freshman teams for several years. Last season he was a varsity assistant and helped at the freshman level in boys basketball. He may continue assisting the PHS boys basketball program this upcoming season.

Richards posted 467 wins as a high school basketball coach in all levels combined. He directed the the Stars for Tomorrow boys basketball camp for over 20 years.

In high school, he coached fifth-grade and grades 7-8 boys basketball, and coached youth basketball and baseball.

It means lot to Richards to be involved in coaching and helping kids in youth sports because it gives him a chance to give back to the community.

Richards pointed out some of his fondest memories as a high school.

“Obviously, the state championship in baseball and being a coach on the state basketball teams. You always enjoy seeing kids excited about the success of other kids,” he said.

Many people were influential in Richards’ coaching career, including his late father, Chet Richards.

“He really lived sports. He was very influential and supportive. He was a huge supporter of high school and youth sports in Plymouth.

“He got me involved in sports. He was supportive of me being a coach,” Richards recalled. “I’ve had great community support.”

Chet Richards was inducted into the PYAA Hall of Fame in 2006.

Richards said his late mother, Judy Richards, was very supportive of his coaching.

Richards said he learned a lot about coaching from other coaches such has former PHS coaches Cabby Wild, Frank Schade, Ron Veleke and Ed Brinkman, and current coach Gale Grahn. Richards played basketball for Wild at PHS.

“I’m really proud of kids [I coached] who went on to coach. Tim Schultz, Jason Jaeckels and Butch Cain are examples,” said Richards.

Schultz is the PHS head boys basketball coach and Jaeckels is the Panthers’ JV boys basketball coach. Cain is the Panthers’ head baseball coach.


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