Chaminade’s Coach Richardson: All Soccer, All The Time

Michelle Richardson

Scan the Chaminade women’s soccer roster, and you’ll find plenty of local players. That’s fine with newly hired head coach Michelle Richardson, who took over the program after a successful run at nearby Kalani. As she hits the recruiting trail, Hawaii figures to remain a focal point.

“Most of my team is comprised of local kids, and I think the talent level here is great,” said Richardson, a Realtor for Benn Pacific Group. “We have enough of a soccer population here to make a fantastic team. Two things I’m passionate about are developing our youths and making sure they go on to college.”

Passionate describes her approach to almost everything. She guided the Kalani team to OIA East titles in 2009 and 2010. The Falcons also were OIA Red runner-up in 2010 and finished third in the state Division I tourney that year. Richardson has nearly 20 years of coaching at various levels, including 14 as a head coach in Hawaii and Northern California. A graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., she was a four-year letter winner and the Gaels’ team captain as a senior. She recently visited with MidWeek‘s East Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? My family’s filled with athletes. I remember watching my brothers (Lief and Ehren) play. My father was their coach, and I wanted to be out there. It didn’t matter that they were boys. I just wanted to be out there. I started playing myself when I was 5.

Who has had the biggest impact on your coaching? My high school coach, Edgar Erker, who’s still coaching to this day. He had a passion for soccer. He believed in me and told me I could go far, but he also was painfully honest. I took what he told me and ran with it.

When did you know you wanted to be a coach? When I started working youth clinics while still in high school. I didn’t know I wanted to be a coach – people just put me in that position – but it felt natural, and I like giving back.

What’s the most challenging aspect of coaching? When you don’t quite know how to fix the issues you see. Even though you exercise your resources, it’s a challenge, but I like the challenge.

When you have free time away from soccer, how do you spend it? I’m actually a workaholic, and people give me a hard time about it. I’m involved with some nonprofits. I’m a chairwoman for Junior League and Pow Wow.

What film could you watch over and over? I think I’ve watched The Breakfast Club more than any other movie.

What one thing could-n’t you live without? My cell phone. It’s totally my cell phone. I’m attached to it 24/7.

You are stuck on an island and can have just one food. What would it be? Pasta or noodles.

What kind of music do you listen to? Music you can dance to. I like anything from house music to classical music, to choral music, to Latin music, to top 40 and Hawaiian music. Hawaiian music is always happy.

What is your favorite spot on Oahu? Anywhere I’m with my friends and family.

Who would be your choice for a celebrity date on a Saturday night? Probably The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). I find him to be pretty attractive.