- BORN: March 18, 1980
- HOMETOWN: Gladstone, Oregon
- COLLEGE: Washington State University (B.A., 2002; M.A. 2007)
- WSU APPOINTMENT: 2003 - Assistant track and field coach
Ellannee Richardson’s calm and quiet demeanor contradicts her fierce competitive spirit. She has achieved prominence as a Cougar coach just as she did as a student-athlete and is instilling that same competitive fire in her sprint and relay runners.
Richardson joined the WSU Track & Field coaching staff as a fulltime assistant in 2003 after an illustrious athletic and academic career as a student-athlete. She coaches sprints and works with assistant coach Mark Macdonald in the relays.
Shawna Fermin concluded her WSU career last summer with a 400m dash PR time of 52.62 run at the Kuortane Games in Finland, the second-fastest time in Cougar women’s history. At the 2013 NCAA Championships Fermin took 13th and was a second team All-American. She was the runner-up in the 400m dash at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships with a then-PR time of 52.66 in the final. Fermin finished sixth in the 400m at the 2012 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) U-23 Track & Field Championships, and competed at the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago NAAA National Championships.
Richardson-directed relay teams have consistently run into the WSU top ten all-time standings in the past nine years. Three women’s and four men’s 4x100m relay teams as well as three women’s and four men’s 4x400m relay teams have run top ten times since Richardson began coaching. The 2013 women’s 1600m relay team of Dominique Keel, Christiana Ekelem, Bree Winfrey and Shawna Fermin ran a time of 3:38.54, ninth-best in school all-time records.
In 2012 two women’s 400m relay squads raced into the standings. Chanel James, Cindy Robinson, Candace McFarland and Fermin’s time of 44.92 at the NCAA West Preliminary was third-best all-time and earlier in the year Shaquana Logan, Robinson, McFarland and Fermin ran a time of 45.14, seventh-best in WSU records. The 2006 squad of Nicole Hatcher, La Shawnda Porter-Red, Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler raced to a 45.30 time, 10th-best. In the women’s 1600m relay, Richardson was either a member of or coached all 10 squads in WSU’s all-time top 10 records.
The Cougar men’s 400m relay team in 2011 of Brett Blanshan, Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington and Marlon Murray won the 2011 Pac-10 title with a time of 39.48 which is the second-fastest in WSU men’s history. The squad went on to finish 15th at the NCAA Championships semi-finals and earned All-America status. The men’s 1600m relay team of Hornsby, Brandon Dawson, Jacob Sealby and Jeshua Anderson ran in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships finals and finished 10th, earning All-America honors. At the Pac-10 Championships that same year, the 1600m relay team of Dawson, Washington, Sealby and Anderson took second place with a time of 3:06.40, third-best in WSU history.
The 2009 men’s 4x400m relay team of Barry Leavitt, Reny Follett, Justin Woods and Anderson ran a school indoor record time of 3:06.74 and took eighth place at the NCAA Indoor Championships. This same foursome ran an outdoor time of 3:07.47 in 2008, sixth-best in WSU all-time records at that time, eighth-best now, and earned a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Richardson was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) West Region men’s sprints/hurdles 2006 Coach of the Year. That year James McSwain, Jaycee Robertson, Justin Woods and Martin Boston advanced to the NCAA Championships in the sprints and 4x100m relay.
In addition to her coaching duties, Richardson finished fifth in the 400m dash at the 2004 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships and competed on the USA National Indoor Track and Field 4x400m relay at the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Budapest, Hungary. At the 2004 US Olympic Trials, she missed the 400m hurdles final after running a PR time of 55.61 in the prelims and 56.27 in the semifinals, just 24/100s of a second from qualifying for the final.
Richardson was a five-time All-American heptathlete and sprinter at WSU. She is a four-time All-America heptathlete taking second place at the 2003 and 2002 NCAA Championships and earned an All-America certificate at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Meet anchoring the women’s 4x400m relay to seventh place with a school-record time of 3:35.49. She also anchored the 1600m relay to a school record outdoor time of 3:33.65 for second place at the NCAA West Regional and a trip to the national meet with teammates Tiffany Giles, Monique Jessie and Tamara Gulley.
Richardson currently holds school records in the 400m relay (44.50), 1600m relay for indoor and outdoor races, but during her career also reached school records in the heptathlon, 100m hurdles and the indoor 400m dash. In WSU all-time records, Richardson’s performances are in the top five in eight different events and eighth in the long jump. A three-time Pac-10 heptathlon champion, Richardson was ranked as the third-best heptathlete (top collegiate) in the United States in 2003 by Track & Field News.
She garnered these awards in 2003: WSU’s Pac-10 Medal Winner, Cougar Pride Academic Salute Trophy, Senior Excellence in Academics, Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship, Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar First Team, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, and Verizon/CoSIDA National Academic All-American second team.
Richardson graduated from WSU with a B.A. degree in sociology in 2002, and completed her master’s degree in criminal justice in 2007.