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Janice Joseph-Richard funeral — Friday, December 10
Guinn Auditorium, Louisiana College in Pineville
Visitation from 9 a.m. to noon, service at 1 p.m.

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Joseph-Richard, former Gold Nuggets coach, dies at 46

Janice Joseph-Richard

Janice Joseph-Richard


     December 1, 2010


     NEW ORLEANS — Janice Joseph-Richard, a four-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year during her six seasons as women's basketball coach at Xavier University of Louisiana, died late Wednesday afternoon in Alexandria, La., after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She was 46.
     Joseph-Richard (pronounced REE-shard) coached the Gold Nuggets from 1992-98, and her winning percentage of .824 — 159 wins and 34 losses — remains the best in school history. The XU women were even better in the GCAC, winning five consecutive regular-season and tournament championships from 1993-94 through 1997-98. Joseph coached the Nuggets to a 91-11 GCAC regular-season record and to first-round victories in the NAIA Division I National Championship four consecutive years (1995-98).
     Her final XU team (1997-98) was the first in the GCAC to go 18-0 in conference.

The Gold Nuggets equaled that feat last season. Counting regular-season and tournament competition, her Gold Nuggets won their final 28 games against GCAC opponents.
     "This is a tremendous loss from a personal standpoint as well as for the game of basketball," said Dannton Jackson, in his eighth season as XU's men's basketball coach and an assistant under Joseph-Richard from 1992-97. "Janice was a tremendous friend and a tremendous coach. I would not be the person and the coach I am without the time and patience she spent with me."
     Joseph-Richard resigned from Xavier in the spring of 1998 after announcing her plans to marry. But a year later she was back in basketball, beginning a seven-year stint (1999-2006) as women's head coach at NCAA Division I member San Jose State. She led the Spartans to three winning seasons, and she was Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2001-02 after leading San Jose State to a 17-11 record and the program's first winning record in conference. Prior to her arrival, San Jose State had just one winning season from 1983-1999.
     Joseph-Richard took a leave of absence from San Jose State in August 2006 after being diagnosed with cancer. She never coached the Spartans again, but she returned to women's basketball once more when her alma mater, Louisiana College in Pineville, hired her as head coach. Joseph-Richard's LC teams were 55-23 in three seasons, including a 24-3 record in 2009-10 which included the Lady Wildcats' first American Southwest Conference championship and berth in the NCAA Division III tournament. She announced in October, before the start of her fourth season at LC, that she was taking a leave of absence from the team to fight her cancer.
     Joseph-Richard's 16-year record as a head coach was 307-163.
     "I guess it's true that the great ones are always taken away from us early," said Bo Browder, in his 12th season as the Gold Nuggets' head coach. Browder was an assistant coach on Joseph-Richard's final XU team and succeeded her. "Janice was a very competitive person but also a very compassionate person once you got to know her."
     Joseph-Richard was a standout basketball player at Louisiana College. She was an American Women's Sports Federation two-time first-team NAIA All-American and was All-GCAC four times, the last three unanimously. She collected more than 2,300 points and 700 assists at LC and as a senior (1985-86) set the GCAC season record of 283 assists. She led the GCAC in scoring and assists each of her final two seasons. Her final season she also led the Lady Wildcats to third place in the NAIA Division I National Championship at Kansas City, Mo.
     Joseph-Richard played all 50 minutes and produced a triple-double — 28 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — in LC's 85-83 double-overtime victory at Xavier on Feb. 17, 1986. Twelve days later she had 22 points and 13 assists to lead the Lady Wildcats to a 94-68 home victory against XU in the NAIA District 30/GCAC Tournament championship game.
     "Janice may be the greatest player in GCAC history AND the greatest coach in GCAC history when you look at her numbers and accomplishments," Browder said. "How many people can say that?"
     Xavier honored Joseph-Richard and former XU men's basketball coach Denny Alexander on Feb. 20 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic doubleheader between Xavier and Dillard at The Barn.
     Joseph-Richard, born Feb. 19, 1964, was an Alexandria native and a graduate of that city's Peabody Magnet High School. Survivors include several siblings and a 12-year-old son.


 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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