There’s a very short list of people that have served as the head coach for the Cerritos College Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country programs. And the list of names that can say they have won a state championship in any of those sports is event shorter. From 1992 until 2011 it was Doug Wells, and the name Christopher Richardson can be added to that short list. After leading the men’s and women’s cross country teams to Top 10 finishes in his first four seasons at the State Championships, including three consecutive CCCAA State Championships for the women track and field team in 2015-17. It marks the fourth state championship for the women’s program under Richardson, as the team also won the title in 2013 and came in second place in both 2018 and 2014. Additionally, in 2014, the men finished in third place. The women’s state title in 2017 was their seventh in the last 12 years. Richardson is also in his sixth season as the college’s Director of Track and Field.
Back in 2015, Richardson was selected to be part of the Team USA coaching staff for the 2015 NACAC Combined Cup event, which took place on June 19-20 in Ottawa, Canada.
As someone who competed for Wells, Richardson is no stranger to the Falcon track and field program. In his first season (2012), Richardson guided both the men’s and women’s teams to sixth place finishes at the State Championships. Additionally, the men finished second in Southern California and won their first South Coast Conference championship in school history. As for the women’s team, they came in fourth place in Southern California and also won the conference title. Prior to being named the head coach with the Falcons, Richardson was the cross country and track coach at both ECC Compton Center and Moorpark College, and also coached at East Los Angeles College, as well as NCAA Division I Central Arkansas University, while he started his coaching career with the Cerritos coaching staff at the conclusion of his competitive career.
Richardson saw 10 of his athletes ranked nationally last season, and over the course of his coaching career with the Falcons, he had seen seven men’s school records set and 34 marks in the top five, while on the women’s side, 14 school records have been set, with 57 making the top five list. He was named the South Coast Conference Coach of the Year with Cerritos, as well as the Western State Conference Coach of the Year in his time at Moorpark College. While at Central Arkansas, he coached 12 athletes to 18 school record and 14 all-conference performances.
As a track and field athlete for Cerritos from 2004-05, Richardson was a two-time state champion in the decathlon and in 2005 set a new state record by accruing 41 team points by himself, winning the state championship in the long jump (24’ 7”) and javelin (191’ 1”). Additionally, he won the South Coast Conference championship in each of those events, along with the discus. His 6980 decathlon points were a school record until 2014, when Thomas Cheval set a new standard in winning the state championship. In addition, his marks in the javelin and long jump still rank third and fourth, respectively in school history. After his sophomore season, Richardson competed in the Junior National Championships and came in fourth place. He was also a NACAC gold medalist in the decathlon.
One of the most sought-after recruits in the country, Richardson signed with Cal State University, Long Beach, where he was a two-time All-American selection and competed in the 2008 Olympic Team Trials, where he placed 16th with 7312 points. In his time at CSULB, Richardson was the Big West Conference Field Athlete of the Year as a senior and junior and won the championship both years. In his junior year, he set a school record with 7605 points and placed third at the NCAA Championships.
While the head coach at Moorpark College, he helped his team finish in a second place tie at the State Championship with Cerritos, and prior to coming to the Falcons,, he led ECC Compton Center to a 15th place finish on the men’s side, while the women came in 23rd place.
As a prep athlete at Downey High, Richardson was a four-time team Most Valuable Player in track and field and also lettered in football and basketball.
Richardson has a United States Track and Field Level 1, 2 and 3 license, as well as being a Certified USATF Coaches Education Instructor. He is also the Southern California Association USATF Executive Board Vice President and a member of the National Association of Sports Medicine. Richardson owns an IAAF Level V Combined Events Coaches Certification and is also the Long Beach National Junior Basketball President.
Richardson earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cal State University, Long Beach in Religious Studies with a minor in Kinesiology and Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University. He completed a Doctorate degree in Higher Education Athletic Administration from Northcentral Arizona University. Richardson and his wife Jennifer have three children.