Todd Richards is serving as assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team for the first time.
The only other entry on Richards’ international coaching résumé is an appearance as an assistant coach of the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Team during the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Germany.
Currently, Richards is the head coach of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, a role he’s held since May 14, 2012. Prior to being named head coach, Richards was the interim head coach for 41 games during the 2011-12 season after holding the position of assistant coach for the first half of that year.
Richards started his NHL head-coaching career with the Minnesota Wild in 2009-10, becoming the second coach in Wild history. With Minnesota, Richards built a 77-71-16 record during his two-year stint behind the bench while contributing to the development of many young players in Minnesota’s system.
Before heading to the Wild, Richards made a one-year stop in San Jose to serve as an assistant coach with the Sharks during the 2008-09 season. While in San Jose, Richards was in charge of a power play unit that clicked at a 24.2 percent clip, good for third-best in the entire NHL. The Sharks finished that season with 53 wins, 117 points and the Presidents’ Trophy.
Prior to making the jump to the NHL, Richards experienced incredible success during a six-year run in the American Hockey League with two different organizations. As the head coach with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2006-08, Richards navigated his group to the 2008 Calder Cup Final. Before joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06. During his tenure in Milwaukee, the Admirals captured two West Division titles (2003-04, 2005-06), made back-to-back Calder Cup Final appearances (2004, 2005) and won the 2004 Calder Cup championship.
As a player, Richards enjoyed a 13-season professional career, including eight games in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers.
In the college ranks, Richards made the University of Minnesota his home for four seasons, leaving his mark on the school’s record book in the process. As a Gopher, Richards scored 30 goals and 158 points to become Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen. In addition, his 128-career assists put him fifth all-time among all players in program history. Richards was team captain and a second-team All-American in 1988-89, helping Minnesota to a Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship and a National Collegiate Athletic Association title game appearance that season.
Richards and his wife, Maryann, have two sons.