A 1938 Bristol High School graduate, Richard was active in sports, participating in baseball, track and football, which earned him All-State honors. He was nicknamed “Stonewall” for his play on the gridiron because it was hard for opponents to take him down while he was running with the ball.
He later traveled south to attend Johnson C. Smith University where he continued playing sports. As a football standout there, he was nicknamed “Choo Choo” in being compared to a train’s engine that was chugging its way down the line. As a sprinter on the track team he earned All-South honors.
Returning to Bristol in the mid-1940s Richard would eventually end up teaching and coaching sports at Westwoods School, while also coaching at the Bristol Boys Club.