Head Coach | D1
Castleton University, 2014
Though Alabama Hockey named Kyle Richards as its head coach on Sept. 14, 2017, he had been working behind the scenes since he was selected to lead the program in early August. Richards previously served as the associate head coach after joining the program on July 4, 2016. He coached the power-play unit that was ranked sixth in the nation, converting 26.09 percent of the time.
Richards came to Alabama after a stint with ACHA Division-I opponent West Virginia where he served as head coach for the 2014-15 season. He worked primarily with the team’s forwards and power-play unit in 2016-17.
Richards is a native of Nova Scotia, Canada, but moved to West Virginia at the age of 14 to play for the Pittsburgh Junior Penguins in the Empire Junior “B” Hockey League. He saw action in 78 games over two seasons and scored 50 goals. He added 67 assists to record 117 points as a Penguin.
He was a two-time League All-Star and was named First Team All-Conference in the 2007-08 season while leading the league in power-play goals. Richards was also named an assistant captain in his second season with the club.
After graduating high school, Richards moved up to the Eastern Junior “A” Hockey League to play the 2008-09 season with the Bridgewater Bandits. He was again named assistant captain in his second year on the squad. Richards played 85 career games with the Bandits scoring 18 goals and tallying 35 assists.
He then attended Castleton University in Vermont where he played collegiate hockey at the NCAA Division-III level. In 70 games for the Spartans, Richards recorded 30 points on 10 goals and 20 assists. He set a school record with a career faceoff percentage of 72 percent and was part of the winningest class in school history.
Richards was named to the ECAC All-Academic team every year of his career. He was named the team’s most improved player for the 2011-12 season and was voted fan favorite in 2013-14.
Following his playing career Richards took a head coaching position for the Morgantown Blades (PAHL) in August 2014. In his only season with the Blades, Richards won the PAHL Regular Season title and the PAHL Playoff Championship while coaching the league’s leading scorer, Kienan Battin.
In April 2015, Richards began working with both the River Monsters (U8) and Flying V (U10) clubs as a head coach and skills instructor. He held that position through the conclusion of the season in June.
While working with the Blades, he also served as an assistant coach for the West Virginia University ACHA Division-I club until November 2014 when he was promoted to head coach.
Over two seasons with the Mountaineers, he amassed a 21-16-1 record behind the bench and coached three All-CHMA players (Zach Duke - first team, Tyler Conaway - second team and Eric Schaetzle - second team). In conference play, he held an 11-6 record and took the 2014-15 squad to the CHMA championship game. Richards also led the program to its first win over Delaware, which was nationally ranked at the time, on Jan. 11, 2015.
His brother Brandon played ACHA Division-I hockey at West Virginia from 2012-2015.
His father, Steven, is a former high school and college volleyball coach who played for one year in college. Steven also coached in the Canada Games and on the AAU circuit.
Richards was mentored by Cliff Loya, owner of National Elite Hockey and a former ECHL, AHL and European league professional player.