Mizzou Athletics announced that Howard Richards, former football standout and current radio analyst for the Tiger Network, has joined the AD staff on a full-time basis. Richards will serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Community Relations. The St. Louis, Mo. native currently lives in his hometown and he will continue to reside there as his outreach focus will be in the Gateway City.
“We are very excited to have Howard on board to assist us in our efforts in St. Louis,” said Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. “In my short time here, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Howard. There’s no question that he loves Mizzou and I know he will work very hard to represent us well in his hometown and that he will help us make inroads there. He’s got an infectious personality, great people skills, and a very well-rounded background, and I know those will be great assets for this role,” Sterk said.
“I’d like to thank Director of Athletics Jim Sterk for this opportunity to work on his team to help Mizzou Athletics build its reputation to position ourselves among the elite athletic departments in the country,” said Richards. “I represent decades of past Mizzou student-athletes, but I am especially proud to represent my former Mizzou football teammates, coaches, trainers and other athletic department personnel that I’ve known since 1977. I have heard their voices loudly and clearly and I want give my best efforts on their behalf to help build a better future for their school.”
“I love Mizzou and my love for this institution is what will propel me to work extremely hard to affect positive change and to elevate the Mizzou brand, in order to encourage prospective student-athletes, especially those who live in Missouri, to make Mizzou their first choice,” said Richards. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the St. Louis community even better, from an individual and corporate standpoint – to solicit their opinions in order to assist our staff, and to increase the department’s visibility. This is a very important time to lead Mizzou into the future, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be part of that leadership team.”
Richards, a standout offensive lineman at Mizzou (1977-80), was a first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFL Draft. He played in the NFL for seven years (six with Dallas, one with Seattle), helping the Cowboys win three NFC East Division Championships (1981, 1983, 1985).
After his playing days ended, Richards went on to a 13-year distinguished career as a special agent with the Central Intelligence Agency (1990-2003), before moving into the private real estate industry for nine years. In 2011, the communications major realized a lifelong dream and got the gig as color analyst for Mizzou Football games on the Tiger Radio Network, where he has called games alongside partners Mike Kelly and Chris Gervino for the past six seasons. From 2011-15, his day job was as director of public safety at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, before he took over as the Mizzou College of Arts and Science senior manager for external relations in St. Louis in May of 2015.