Richard D. Tharp, of East Canton, OH, is the head men’s basketball coach for Kent State University at Tuscarawas. He has more than 37 years of basketball coaching experience in the East Canton and Canton South school systems, as well as Stark, Summit and Tuscarawas County AAU basketball. In addition to his coaching career, Tharp has been employed by American Electric Power for 27 years, most recently as a distribution system supervisor.
Tharp’s successful coaching career includes a 14-year stint as a varsity boys assistant coach at East Canton High School and has presently served three years as girls varsity assistant coach at Canton South High. He has also served as an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) head coach since March 2010 and is the founder, owner and operator of the 47 Swish AAU basketball organization. He also founded and served as president and basketball coach for the Wildcat Youth Basketball Association (WYBA), the Press-News Youth Basketball League. In addition to basketball, Tharp was also a vice-president, president and coach for the Canton South Baseball Association and was an assistant coach for the Canton South Softball Association.
Coach Tharp is certified by the American Heart Association in CPR – First Aid, has earned his Concussion Protocol Certification and is also certified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to coach in exposure events. He was recently named Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) District 4 Assistant Coach of the Year.