Richard A. Tharp
Sport(s): Basketball (Men's)
Richard A. Tharp '70, a St. Louis native, came to DePauw via Omaha, Neb., where he was an outstanding high school basketball star. DePauw offered Tharp a Rector Scholarship, and he became a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In his freshman year his scholarship earned him membership in Phi Beta Sigma, the freshman equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa and he was the freshman team's second leading scorer. He was a varsity starter his sophomore year, scoring 150 points as a 6-foot-3 forward on DePauw's 16-8 team that earned a spot in the NCAA College Division III tourney. During his junior year, he accepted an opportunity to study at Scotland's St. Andrews University. he played basketball in Scotland for St. Andrews and the Scottish and British National University Teams, and was awarded the highest sports award in Britain for his accomplishments. Returning as a senior, he jumped into Coach Elmer McCall's starting lineup at forward and started in all 23 games. He scored 561 points and averaged 24.39 points, a new all-time scoring record, and one that stands today. A history major, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was one of 15 outstanding basketball players nationally who received NCAA post-graduate fellowships in recognition of their outstanding achievements as scholar-athletes. In addition, he was one of 10 men in the nation elected to the 1970 Academic All-America Basketball Team. He used the fellowship to attend law school at the University of Colorado, where he graduated with a J.D. degree in 1973. he practiced law in Boulder, Colo. for nearly 20 years before being named athletic director at the University of Colorado in 1997. He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association and has served on the boards of directors of seven corporations. He is married to DePauw classmate, the former Melinda Siebert '70, and they are parents of three boys - Travis, who attends Northwester on a baseball scholarship, Taylor and Tucker. The Tharps reside in Boulder.