The Atlanta Fire Hockey Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Richardson as Head Coach of the Midget U18 Tier I AAA team for the 2012-2013 season. Coach Richardson joins the Atlanta Fire after spending the previous two seasons with the Billings Bulls Hockey Club, in Billings, Montana. Richardson served as the Head Coach for the programs Tier 1 16AAA team, (OZ Fitness AAA Hockey Club), and Assistant Coach with the Billings Bulls Junior Program of the America West Hockey League. Last season the Billings Bulls took the Bronze Medal in the National Championship Tournament. Richardson was responsible for all coaching, development, recruitment and organization structure with the Billings program.
While in Billings, Richardson started the first ever U16 Tier 1 program in the Northern Plains District (Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota). In Richardson's two years in Billings, he moved many of his U16 players directly onto a junior hockey roster and one player into the college ranks, while the rest moved onto U18 Tier 1 rosters.
Under Richardson’s leadership, the Montana High Performance Development Program was created. With this program Richardson ran High Performance clinic weekends across the state of Montana.
Prior to moving to Billings, Richardson spent the 2009-2010 season with multiple roles coaching in his hometown of San Jose, California. He served as the Assistant Coach with the San Jose Jr. Sharks 18AAA and 16AAA teams, both of whom competed in the North American Prospects Hockey League during the league’s inaugural season. With both teams, Richardson advanced his teams to the Pacific District Finals and promoted his players onto higher levels of hockey.
Along with his duties with both AAA hockey teams, Richardson also served as a development coach for the San Jose Jr. Sharks program. As the clubs development coach, Richardson worked with every player in the program on a weekly basis during the clubs skill session practices.
During this time period Richardson also served as an assistant coach with San Jose State University Spartans Hockey Club. The Spartans play Division II in the ACHA and Advanced to the National Championship in 2010. With the Spartans Richardson was responsible for player development, practices and recruiting.
In 2008-2009 Coach Richardson had the privilege of working with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. Richardson assisted the team’s video coaching staff with collecting and editing game film for the teams scouting sessions on upcoming opponents.
Richardson is also very active in the summer months on the ice. He has coached at camps across the country including Minnesota Hockey Camps in Nisswa Minnesota. Coach Richardson has also worked as an evaluator at the Pacific District Camps and Northern Plains District Camps as well as state festival camps including CAHA (California) and MAHA (Montana).
Richardson started his coaching career in 2003 and under his guidance he has promoted players of all ages onto higher levels of hockey, from youth to junior hockey, junior to college hockey, and college hockey to professional hockey.
Coach Richardson is in the process of relocating to the Alpharetta area and is looking forward to joining the Atlanta hockey community, and the Fire Hockey Club in looking forward to having him as a coach.