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Former Raider great Martha Richards inspires current girls' team

Former Raider great Martha Richards is surrounded by players in the Raider girls’ basketball program during Richards’ visit to the team’s practice Friday afternoon at the high school. Richards, the 1988 Wisconsin Miss Basketball award winner, went on to excel in basketball and golf at Stanford University and is currently the head women’s golf coach at the University of Texas. (Submitted photo)

The Raider girls’ basketball team had a very special visitor at team practice last Friday -- the school’s all-time leading scorer, Martha Richards.

Richards, a 1988 HHS graduate, was a two-sport star at Hudson, leading the Raider girls’ basketball team to its first state tournament appearance and winning a state individual golf championship her senior year.

She is currently in her seventh season as the head women’s golf coach at the University of Texas and was back in Hudson last week visiting family and friends.

“I was tickled pink when she reached out via email and wanted to reconnect with the program,” second-year Raider head coach Joe Behnke said. “I had the privilege of meeting with her for about an hour before practice and just picking her brain. She is still very close with a core group from high school and she has strong ties to the basketball program as it was where it all started for her.”

Richards’ 2,038 points is the most scored by any Hudson High School player -- male or female. After graduation she attended Stanford University where she excelled in basketball and golf, helping the Cardinal basketball team win the NCAA national title in 1990 and earning All-America honors from the National Golf Coaches Association in 1993.

After completing her collegiate career, Richards served as a volunteer assistant golf coach at Stanford before playing on the LPGA tour from 1995 to 1996. She was head golf coach at Boise State University from 1997-98 and an assistant coach at Texas from 1998-2000 before serving as head coach at Vanderbilt from 2000-2007.

In 2013 she led Texas to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the fifth time in six years. She was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in October 2010.

Behnke said his players were thrilled to have the chance to meet Richards.

“She met with the girls for about 20 minutes and sent a very good message about how to treat others, self-confidence, and committing to being your best through hard work and dedication to something,” he said. “Her resume speaks for itself, and like I stated before, what a quality individual to have the girls look up to and inspire them.”  

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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