Eric Dooley

The one person who probably understands Eric Dooley the best is probably the man who worked alongside the former Prairie View coach on national championship teams.

Pete Richardson, who led Southern to four Black national championships in the 1990s and early 2000s as head coach over 16 seasons, called the school’s move “an outstanding hire” during an interview Monday.

Also Read: Southern names Eric Dooley its next head coach

“I’m excited for him,” Richardson told Baton Rouge-based WAFB. “He’s an individual who paid his dues … I think this is an outstanding hire for Southern University.”

Dooley, who spent the last four seasons at Prairie View was an assistant at Southern under  Richardson from 1997-2009. During those years Southern won four SWAC titles and two Black college national championships.

“He’s also ideal in getting individuals in recruiting, especially in the state of Louisiana, said Richardson. “He’s from New Orleans and well-liked in that area, so the high school coaches are going to help him out as much as they can in getting some outstanding athletes.”

Richardson explained Dooley became an attractive candidate because of his work elevating Prairie View into a SWAC contender, culminating with guiding the Panthers to a West Division title and conference championship game trip this past season.

“Anytime you take a program like Prairie View and turn it around, I think it shows the character of that individual — not only him but the assistant coaches he has on his staff, he said. He did an outstanding job of developing that program and people are going to take a look at him.”

Richardson is under the impression that Dooley, who replaces interim coach Jason Rollins, will “do an outstanding job” at Southern.

“I thought he was an individual who was the right fit for that program, and I’m very excited for him and his family to come back to Southern University,” he said.


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