Charlie Richard Day scheduled for Saturday
It will be a reunion, a celebration and, most of all, Baker University football tradition at its finest Saturday when Liston Stadium will be the site of Charlie Richard Day.
Richard, the legendary Baker football coach who died in 1994, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in August. That celebration was in Indiana and Baker has been working on plans for the local version for months. It will culminate at halftime of Saturday's game against Lindenwood, which starts at 1:30 p.m., and will cap a week of activities.
"This is an honor for my dad," said Pat Richard, Charlie's son who also played for him and is a Baker graduate. "The things that Baker has done for it is great. It's an honor. They're taking care of us again.
"I am so proud of being from Baker and being a part of it all," he said. "I'm bringing a bus load of my players with me to get a taste of the Baker experience and seeing how wonderful it is."
Richard is the football coach at Orrick, Mo. He'll be bringing his current squad to participate in the reunion of family and players who donned the Wildcat uniform for his dad during the glory years of Baker football.
Charlie Richard coached Baker from 1980 to 1994. During that span, the Wildcats were nationally ranked for a record-setting 128 consecutive weeks. He compiled a record of 123-28-1, winning 81 percent of his games. Baker appeared in the national playoffs in 10 of those 14 years.
Many of the players who were here during that era are expected to attend Saturday's game and Richard said he, his mom, Nancy, associate dean of students at Baker, and sister, Amy, are looking forward to it.
"It's going to be very exciting for the family," Richard said. "It will be great to see everyone I played with. It's going to be great because there will be more people to share it with than there were in South Bend.
"It's more about the honoring of the players who made it possible for him to get in the hall of fame," he said. "That's what dad would want."
This year's Wildcats will also pay tribute by wearing the black jerseys that Baker was known for during that decade plus.
"I think it's wonderful," Richard said of the jerseys. "I think it's exciting. I know the black is so much a point of pride for everyone from that era. I like the colors now, but it's exciting to use those colors from that era. Hopefully, it will bring them the success it did for us."