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Katie Richards, Director of Student Success and Disabilities at Mayville State University, dies in car accident

Katie Richards, director of Student Success and Disability Support Services at Mayville State University in Mayville, North Dakota, was killed in a fatal car accident Thursday in Reynolds, North Dakota. She was 45 years old.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Richards lost control of her 2021 Buick Enclave while driving on the 22nd Avenue Northeast Freeway, eight miles west of Reynolds in eastern North Dakota. The vehicle left the highway, jumped a side ditch and then rolled, killing Richards almost instantly. An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of this tragic accident.

Richards was not only a faculty member at Mayville State University, but also a mentor to her students and colleagues. In fact, in this role, she worked to ensure that every student at the university had access to the proper resources to succeed in their careers. She is also an advocate for equal opportunity and inclusive education.

In addition, Katie has been the varsity boys basketball coach at May-Port-CG High School since 2009. She is also the basketball coach at Mayville State University and serves on the University of North Dakota Winners Association.

Katie Richards, Director of Student Success and Disabilities at Mayville State University, dies in car accident

Katie Richards is a member of the University of North Dakota Athletic Hall of Fame at her alma mater

Katie Richards is a member of the University of North Dakota Athletic Hall of Fame at her alma mater and has competed in several national intercollegiate basketball tournaments as a member of the University of North Dakota Sioux, including four NCAA Tournaments, two North Central Conference reported championships and three consecutive national championships (1996-1999).

She was also named Miss North Dakota Basketball, played in 123 games for North Dakota State and won most of them, scoring 1,512 points and 769 rebounds, for which she earned All-North Central Conference honors, Daktronics All-North Central Region second team honors and WBCA All-America honorable mention.

A Tribute to Katie Richards

Bill Chaves, director of athletics at the University of North Dakota, mourned the passing of Katie Richards in a statement:

“We were all shocked and saddened to hear the news of Katie’s passing. She was one of the most influential alumni of the University of North Dakota and her legacy will live on forever.

Similarly, University of North Dakota head basketball coach Mallory Bernhard told the media:

“The news of Katie’s passing is absolutely devastating. She was not only one of the greatest minds in our program, but so much more. She was a wonderful teammate, not only to those who played with her, but to all who put on a North Dakota State jersey.”

Bernhard said Richards was one of the most helpful people she’s ever met, a caring friend and a devoted mother. The University of North Dakota coach also mentioned that Katie is 100 percent committed and gives her all to everything she does.

She also said that Richards was supportive and always offered her honest opinion “as an alumna and a true friend,” and she considers herself lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know Katie up close and personal.

Richards’ passing leaves a void in the Mayville State and University of North Dakota communities. She was a beloved friend, colleague and mentor to many. She will be deeply missed.

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