(Editor’s note: University of Montana Western media release)

DILLON – Russ Richardson has officially announced his January 1, 2018 resignation as the University of Montana Western’s Athletics Director. At that time, he will become the Director of Student-Athlete Health and Wellness for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Richardson’s role will be to lead the process for development of policies and identifying resources that promote health and wellness for student-athletes across the country. In that capacity, he will work collaboratively with sports medicine professionals, member institutions, and student-athletes as those policies are developed.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead this important initiative for the NAIA. The position is a reflection of the culmination of my career experiences in athletic healthcare and student leadership development. I’m very thankful and appreciative of the experiences and opportunities that I’ve had serving Montana Western for the past six years. I’ve learned a lot and grown as a professional and I am excited to take on this new challenge for the benefit of student-athletes throughout our nation,” said Richardson.

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Additional responsibilities for Richardson will include articulating and advocating legislative issues in concert with NAIA student-athlete leadership groups as well as leading the association’s Champions of Character programming with the goal of empowering student-athletes to lead socially responsible lives.

According to Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby, “I have greatly appreciated Russ’s leadership of the Athletics Department. Among his many accomplishments, he has systematically upgraded our facilities in order to enhance the student experience. He formed a strong task force to develop an exciting new brand for athletics that has been met with great enthusiasm by our students and alumni. He has also provided leadership and expertise to the Frontier Conference and has been a very successful fundraiser for the university.”

The University of Montana Western thanks Dr. Richardson for his years of service to the campus and community.

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