Richardson’s journey to director

Before achieving the title of cross country and track and field director, Christopher Richardson was among not only of Cerritos College’s top athletes, but an exceptional talent who performed as an athlete and coach for different schools and across the world.

Coming out of high school and arriving at Cerritos College, Richardson had aspirations to be a football player.

However, he fell in love with track and field when he learned of the decathlon event, a combination of ten events into one event.

I put aside what I thought were football dreams and I really started devoting all my time and my energy into track,” Richardson said.

He added, “Coming here kind of opened my eyes to new opportunities.”

Richardson said that he had placed expectations upon himself to perform better and it showed.

He won State Championships and broke records, including earning the most amount of points an individual has ever produced at the decathlon event.

Richardson said, “It was cool, because I experienced success in a very short period of time. That gave me the motivation to keep pursuing my goals and it was a satisfying feeling to set goals and then reach those goals.”

Cerritos College athletic director Dan Clauss said, “He’s been one of our top athletes of all time in track and field.”

From Cerritos College, Richardson transferred to Long Beach state off an athletic scholarship and attained even more success as he went on to win All-American honors, placed third and fourth in consecutive years for the NCAA Nationals and was a part of multiple team USA’s, including traveling to the Dominican Republic and winning gold.

Training for the 2008 Olympic Trials, Richardson blew out his knee and claims this to be a moment of reflection in terms of what career path to take.

I thought, I could go one of two ways. I can rehab and try to go again at this or I can go on my career path and really try to set myself up professionally,” Richardson said.

I had those experiences as an athlete, I felt it was time to set my professional path.”

In his first year as head coach for Moorpark College, his team tied for second place with Cerritos College in the State Championships.

From then on, he has spread around to different schools such as the University of Central Arkansas and Compton College.

He always maintained a passion for community college athletics though.

I missed community college, I felt that’s where I should be because it’s a position where I feel (that) I can help more. I can get the people like me, that slip through the cracks, and help students find their way.”

When the position for cross country and track and field director at Cerritos College opened up, Richardson applied and attained the job.

Cerritos College Dean of Athletics Daniel Smith said, “He was great athlete, becomes full time faculty, wins the conference championship his first year as head coach for both men’s and women’s cross country and track. What a success story.”

Cross country head coach Marco Anzures said, “You can definitely tell the athletes like being around him.

“You get the sense that he is there for them when they need help. It’s good having someone like that to work with.”

Richardson is currently getting his doctorate in athletic administration at North Central University and continues to strive for the success that has found him during his life.

I look back on it, I accomplished a lot, traveled the world and met a lot of great people. I think I had a great collegiate career.”