Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Nolan gets hall of fame
Sutton misses cut for fourth time
Former Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson fires up the crowd during a halftime ceremony in honor of the 1994 NCAA Championship team during a game against Georgia Sunday, March 1, 2009 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Nolan Richardson has been elected into the latest Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, which was announced Monday.
Richardson, who won more games than any coach at Arkansas and led the Razorbacks to their only NCAA championship win 20 years ago this week, was one of three former college coaches on this year's ballot of 10 finalists. Former Maryland coach Gary Williams was also elected to the hall of fame.
Richardson's predecessor at Arkansas, Eddie Sutton, was a finalist for the fourth time this year, but did not make this year's class. The basketball hall of fame will induct its newest members during a ceremony Aug. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
Richardson, 72, won 389 games during his 17 seasons at Arkansas and advanced to three Final Fours. He was fired during the 2002 season and later lost a lawsuit against the university claiming racial discrimination.
The El Paso, Texas native was considered a trailblazer when he landed the Razorbacks job in 1985, becoming the first black head basketball coach at a major university in the South. Richardson has made amends with the Arkansas program in recent years, attending several games as a fan and twice being recognized during halftime ceremonies.
In 2011, his longtime assistant coach Mike Anderson was hired as the Razorbacks' head coach.
Richardson is the only coach in basketball history to win a NCAA championship, NIT championship and national junior college championship. Richardson is also a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.