Rattlers Taking Richardson to Gainesville Region
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
Brett Richardson’s mind was already made up that he’d gladly accept an assistant coaching role with Jamey Shouppe when he was hired two seasons ago to take over the FAMU baseball program.
Shouppe wanted Richardson just as much. He just wasn’t sure the former Rattler player and one-time interim head coach would be willing to come back.
With that, Shouppe made the call on Richardson, asking him for just 30 seconds to explain why he should be Shouppe’s first hire. He promised Richardson that he could get the Rattlers to their first NCAA regional, which he’s done in two short seasons.
That helped an enduring Richardson attain a goal he’s been attempting for more than two decades of being involved in FAMU baseball.
Of course, the initial conversation between Shouppe and Richardson lasted longer than half a minute and in the end both of them got what they wanted – Shouppe a trusted assisted and Richardson an opportunity to help rebuild his alma mater’s baseball program.
“I knew that if he gave me a chance to talk to him I could convince him,” Shouppe said. “This is home for Brett. He loves this program and in my heart of hearts I knew he belonged on the baseball field.”
Richardson spent 17 of the past 18 years as either an assistant or interim head coach. His ties to FAMU began in 1990 as a player.
He’s accomplished plenty, but there wasn’t a bigger moment than when the Rattlers recently beat Bethune-Cookman University for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship to secure the school’s first berth in a NCAA regional tournament. The Rattlers will open tournament play on Friday at 7 p.m. against University of Floridia in Gainesville, Fla .
Richardson never doubted that Shouppe would get the Rattlers this far. Their relationship goes back when Richardson played middle school baseball for Shouppe at Lincoln High School. During the 2011 season when Richardson was interim head coach, Shouppe, then an assistant coach at FSU was his mentor.
So, they’d already established chemistry and Shouppe’s attempt to persuade Richardson to join his staff could be figured as a gesture of respect.
“It was a no-brainer to stay on and help him get this program turned around,” Richardson said. “My mind was already made up and I knew he was going to be a success here.”
“I wanted to help do whatever it was going to take to turn this program around and help him be successful.”