Martha Richards named new athletic director at Aspen High School

Martha Richards has been named the new athletic director for Aspen High School, Principal Tharyn Mulberry announced Wednesday.

Richards was selected from a pool of more than 40 applicants. She takes over for Jay Maher, who resigned after two years in the position.

“It was definitely a competitive field and I’ll tell you what, Martha was a standout amongst them,” Mulberry said. “Her understanding as a college-level athlete and college-level coaching we think will really improve not only our students that want to pursue athletics at a high level, but also help those kids at the entry level with some real sound coaching practices.”

Richards brings to Aspen an impressive resume as both a player and coach. A native of Wisconsin, she was a high school all-American in basketball before attending Stanford University, graduating in 1993 as a two-sport athlete in basketball and golf. She was part of Stanford’s 1990 national championship in women’s basketball.

Most of her professional career has been spent as a collegiate golf coach. Richards was the head women’s golf coach at Vanderbilt University from 2000-2007 and was named the national coach of the year in 2004 by Golfweek magazine. She left the Commodores for the University of Texas, where she was the women’s golf coach from 2007-2014.

Richards retired from coaching in 2014 at age 44, citing health concerns. She survived two bouts of cancer, developing ovarian cancer when she was 25 and thyroid cancer at 33. She has worked in public relations and marketing since leaving the Longhorns.

Mulberry believes Richards will help make Aspen High School into a “national model” program, a process he started with Maher.

“I think Martha buys into that whole philosophy and will really have the skill set to take us there,” Mulberry said. “We are really excited to have her.”

Richards, who is currently on vacation, was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Mulberry said the school plans to organize a public meet and greet for Richards, to be announced later. She is expected to start working some time next week.

Maher, declining to comment on his post-resignation plans, only said via text that he was “moving on and will continue to support AHS athletics.”