The reaction should have told everyone a week ago that it was Kris Richardson's last game as head football coach at Folsom (Calif.)
The 49-year-old celebrated his team's fourth state championship — a 21-14 CIF State 1-AA title victory over Cathedral Canyon on Dec. 14 at Cerritos College in Norwalk — with a truly emotional display, filled with hugs and tears and a very long embrace and kiss from his wife Kelly.
Clearly, something was different about this win over the previous 161 against 27 losses and one tie for Richardson. Everyone on the team must have known it was his last game, at least as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
Within the next 48 hours, it was clear that his good friend and former Bulldogs' co-head coach Troy Taylor was leaving his post as offensive coordinator at Utah to become the head coach at Sacramento State. That became official on Monday.
Speculation that Richardson would join Taylor became a reality on Friday, when he confirmed to The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson
that he had resigned his post at Folsom to take the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Hornets.
Richardson isn't the only Folsom coach jumping the championship train. Assistants Bobby Fesques (quarterbacks), Sam Cole (defensive coordinator) and Chris Parry (running backs) will also join the Sacramento State staff.
Following 24 seasons at Folsom, the last 14 as head coach, Richardson will be reunited with Taylor. The two went 58-3 from 2012-15 as co-coaches at Folsom, where they helped put up record-setting offensive numbers with weapons like current Washington quarterback Jake Browning
and New England defensive back Jordan Richards
"I'm ecstatic," Richardson told Davidson on Friday. "This is something that Troy and I have talked about for years, and to coach with my best friend, at Sac State, in the Big Sky Conference is just an incredible opportunity."
Taylor told Davidson of Richardson's hire: "It's huge. I didn't want to do this without him. That was the plan. Kris is the most emotionally stable guy, an incredible coach, and there's no one I trust more. I had to have him. We've always been on the same page."
The final page at Folsom for Richardson came with a 14-1 season and No. 17 national ranking with MaxPreps. The Bulldogs were shutout 14-0 in Week 1 by De La Salle (Concord), but after that it was all perfection.
To reach the state title game, they scored an 84-46 win over Central (Fresno), a team that was undefeated coming in.
The Bulldogs were heavy favorites over Cathedral Catholic, but never led until the first possession of overtime, on a 17-yard pass from Boise State-bound quarterback Kaiden Bennett
to CJ Hutton
. A fourth-down pass fell incomplete for Cathedral Catholic, setting off the emotional and wild celebration.
It was the second straight state 1-AA title for the Bulldogs.
It was a perfect send off for Richardson, who said Friday: "It's a perfect storm, the perfect time for me to make the move."