Beginning this season, all future Southern football home openers will be known as the "Pete Richardson Classic."

Standing in an F.G. Clark Activity Center corridor that used to serve as the Jaguars' equipment room during Richardson's tenure, surrounded by the friends and administrators who supported him through his 17-year coaching tenure, Southern announced the move to honor the legendary former coach with a day dedicated to his lifetime of achievements.

The inaugural classic will happen Sept. 15 when the Jaguars host Langston for the home opener.

"It means a great deal to me and my family because Southern University means a great deal for us," Richardson said. "It's also a great deal for the fans. Those guys have an outstanding program. It should be a great game."

Athletic director Roman Banks said the honor — almost a year in the making since he first proposed it — is long overdue for a man of Richardson's stature.

From 1993-2009, Richardson won five Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, and his teams — built on discipline, fundamentals and toughness — were routinely among the best in black college football, with four national championships to show for it.

Richardson is the second-winningest coach in program history with a record of 134-62.

"It's the right thing to do," Banks said. "From an athletics standpoint, I promised I want to do more to recognize those legends for Southern University. It just happens to be a legend that's personally close to me, but our fans more than anything, this is something they've wanted to see for a long period of time."

Banks said the event will be centered on Richardson. The school will put his name in the "Ring of Honor" with other Southern football greats.

SU will also honor Richardson's 1998 national championship team at halftime, along with any other former Southern players of his in attendance.

The school previously announced it is in the process of naming the field at A.W. Mumford Stadium in Richardson's honor, but will likely wait until future classics as it works though approval.

Richardson's former players can also purchase special packages for the classic. For a $100 donation, past Jaguars receive two tickets to the Jaguar Den end-zone suite, a parking pass, two drink tickets and food. Players will also be included in an on-field ceremony at halftime.

"Most times we speak about his overall record," President Raymond Belton said. "But coach Richardson was more than just a coach to Southern University. He's a shaper of men. His motto has been adopted by other coaches. He's a humble leader, but one that really defines and epitomizes Southern University."


Follow Mike Gegenheimer on Twitter, @Mike_Gegs.