In his second season working with the women’s basketball program, Fortune helped lead the team to an 18-16 finish as well as advancement to the second round of the WNIT. The Lady Monarchs turned in a 9-7 record in their first season within C-USA play and reached the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Fortune also guided Shae Kelley to the All-C-USA First Team, as she became just the fifth player in school history to score 1,000 points in only two seasons.
Fortune’s leadership extended far beyond the basketball court as well, as six Lady Monarchs were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team and Galaisha Goodhope and Annika Holopainen received C-USA Academic Medals. The women’s basketball program also notched the No. 43 recruiting class in the nation, leaving Fortune and the rest of the Lady Monarchs’ staff with much potential to be developed.
Fortune made the most of his first season with the Lady Monarchs, as the squad got off to a 9-3 start in non-conference action which was the best start since the 1998-99 season. Overall, Fortune helped guide the team to a 21-10 record as well as a trip to the WNIT. In its final season of CAA action, the team finished in fourth place in the conference and defeated eventual WNIT champion Drexel at home.
Richard Fortune joined the Lady Monarchs in the summer of 2012 after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida and three years as an assistant for the Boo Williams AAU Girl's Nike Travel Team.
"We are very excited to welcome Richard to our ODU family, his expertise in recruiting and his contacts all along the east and west coasts are tremendous. He brings a lot of passion and energy to the game and he really enjoys this community," Head Coach Karen Barefoot said.
Fortune joined the Lady Monarchs after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at UCF. Prior to joining the Knights, he was an assistant coach for the highly acclaimed Boo Williams AAU Girl's Nike Travel Team from 2008-10 in Hampton, Va. Fortune helped lead the AAU team to a No. 1 national ranking in 2008.
"Richard will do a fine job at Old Dominion. He has done a good job wherever he has been, not only as a coach but also a recruiter," Williams said. "He knows the Virginia area very well and is a fine addition to Coach Barefoot's staff."
"I am grateful and thankful for the opportunity to work with Coach Barefoot and her staff. Coach Barefoot has a love and passion for the game as well as her players," Fortune said. "She has the energy, knowledge and leadership skills needed to reignite ODU's great tradition."
In his first season at UCF, he helped the Knights to the 2011 Conference USA Championship.
During the 2004-05 season, Fortune served as an assistant coach with the men's basketball team at his alma mater Virginia State University following one season as an assistant coach with the John Marshall High School boys' basketball team. Prior to his stints at Virginia State and John Marshall, Fortune was the boy's head coach at Caroline High School in Milford, Va., from 2001-04. In his final season at Caroline, he was named the Free Lance Star All Area Coach of the Year as well as the Battlefield District Coach of the Year after leading the team to the 2004 District Championship.
His tenure at Caroline started in 1994 as he began an eight-year stint as an assistant coach before taking the helm as the team's head coach. As an assistant, Fortune helped lead the team to six district championships (1994-96, 1999-2001) and three tournament championships (1994-96). Those teams also made six regionals appearances (1994-96, 1999-2001), winning three titles in that time (1995-96, 2000). Under Fortune, the team also appeared in four state tournaments (1995-96, 1998, 2001).