McCallie Dedicates Baseball Hitting Facility To Chris Richardson

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Chris Richardson
Chris Richardson

Former McCallie baseball coach Chris Richardson looked around Kenny Sholl Stadium Monday night, saw close to 40 of his former players coming back to honor him, and said, “It’s humbling. Not just the award. But all the texts and emails this past weekend. It’s been crazy. I hope everyone knows how much this means to me.”

The award Richardson mentioned is the school naming the hitting and pitching facility that’s outside the right field line the Chris Richardson Hitting Facility, honoring his 12 years as head baseball coach and 27 years of service to the school.

The words of Head of School Lee Burns at the dedication ceremony before the 7-4 loss to Baylor spoke of a man who did far more than beat the Red Raiders 22 times or win more games (245) than any baseball coach in McCallie history.

“Chris is somebody who never takes credit but always takes responsibility,” said Burns.

“He taught economics. He was a dorm head for North Hutcheson. He won the 2017 Residential Life Award. He’s battled against cancer.”

Taylor Smith ‘08, who pitched for Richardson in the 2007 state title game against Christian Brothers, said, “Chris cared about you as an athlete and as a person. Just his dedication to his boys, to his players. He was always there to talk to you, to make sure things were going well outside of baseball. It was just a great experience playing for him.”

Said Richardson as he addressed the crowd before the game, “My family and I lived on campus in both dorms and campus housing, but this (baseball) field has always been my home. I thank my wife and kids for letting me live out my dreams.”

Chris was hired as a teacher and coach at McCallie in 1997. He has been a member of the baseball and football coaching staffs since that time and has been part of each program’s successes.

He was named head baseball coach in 2001 and held that position until 2012. During that time, he guided the Blue Tornado to the State Tournament four times, including a runner up finish in 2007. He led the program to five league championships, three region championships, and eight sectional appearances.

He is a three-time Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association Region Coach of the Year, a four-time Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Sectional Coach of the Year, and was twice named the Chattanooga Times Free Press Area Baseball Coach of the Year.

He compiled an overall coaching record of 245-187, and 22 of his former players went on to play collegiately.

“First and foremost, Chris is a man of deep and abiding faith,” Executive Athletic Director Kenny Sholl said. “He has been a caring and thoughtful mentor to many McCallie boys throughout his career. And, I have never met anyone who loves the game of baseball more than Chris.”

Chris was inducted into the Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame and the Chattanooga Central High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2023.

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