Dick Tarrant (born August 4, 1931) was the head men's basketball coach at the University of Richmond[1] from 1981 through 1993. Tarrant, led the Spiders to five NCAA Tournament and four NIT berths in his twelve seasons as head coach—the first postseason appearances in school history.[2]

Dick Tarrant
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1931-08-04) August 4, 1931 (age 88)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1978–1981Richmond (asst.)
Accomplishments and honors
CAA Coach of the Year (1984, 1986, 1989, 1991)

Tarrant was raised in Englewood, New Jersey.[3] He attended St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, where his basketball coach was Vince Lombardi.[4]

Under Tarrant, the Spiders gained a reputation as giant killers. In their first NCAA appearance, in 1984, they upended an Auburn team led by Charles Barkley in the first round. In 1988, they defeated defending national champion Indiana and Georgia Tech to advance to the Sweet Sixteen—the deepest run by a Colonial Athletic Association team at the time—before losing to Temple. In 1991, Tarrant led the 15th seed Spiders to an upset win over second-seeded Syracuse—the first time that a 15th seed had made it out of the first round.

In 2013, Tarrant was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.[5] In 2015, Richmond named the playing surface at the Robins Center "Dick Tarrant Court" in Tarrant's honor.[3] He left Richmond as far and away the winningest coach in school history, though he has since been passed by current coach Chris Mooney.

Head coaching recordEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Richmond (ECAC South/CAA) (1981–1993)
1981–82 Richmond 18–11 6–4 2nd NIT First Round
1982–83 Richmond 12–16 2–7 6th
1983–84 Richmond 22–10 7–3 1st NCAA Second Round
1984–85 Richmond 21–11 11–3 T-1st NIT Second Round
1985–86 Richmond 23–7 12–2 2nd NCAA First Round
1986–87 Richmond 15–14 8–6 3rd
1987–88 Richmond 26–7 11–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1988–89 Richmond 21–10 13–1 1st NIT Second Round
1989–90 Richmond 22–10 10–4 T-2nd NCAA First Round
1990–91 Richmond 22–10 10–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
1991–92 Richmond 22–8 12–2 T-1st NIT First Round
1992–93 Richmond 15–12 10–4 3rd
Richmond: 239–126 112–43
Total: 239–126

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ Feinstein, John (12 December 1988). "Into The Limelight". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  2. ^ Iannazzone, Al (14 September 2010). "Former coach Dick Tarrant keeping a hand in hoops". North Jersey. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b Staff. "Richmond to name Robins Center hardwood after coach Dick Tarrant", NCAA, July 30, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2016. "A native of Englewood, New Jersey, Tarrant came to Richmond as an assistant coach in 1978, and he became head coach in 1981."
  4. ^ Vecsey, George. [https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/20/sports/sports-of-the-times-a-portrait-of-a-late-blooming-coach.html The New York Times, March 20, 1988. Accessed December 17, 2019. "He played basketball for Vince Lombardi and he scouted for Bobby Knight, and now he has defeated Knight as a coach.... Tarrant was a Jersey guy before Bruce Springsteen made it fashionable. His odyssey began in the modest gymnasium of St. Cecilia High in Englewood, where his coach was a rugged former football lineman from Fordham."
  5. ^ "Coach Tarrant Elected To Virginia Sports Hall Of Fame". Richmond Spiders. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014.