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Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson taking leave for health reasons

Sep 27, 2013, 10:27 PM EDT

Arizona Athletics Arizona Athletics

Friday evening it was announced by the Arizona basketball program that assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson would be taking some time away from the program for health reasons. Richardson has been an assistant under Arizona head coach Sean Miller since Miller accepted the job in 2009.

“I have made the decision to take time away from the University of Arizona for health reasons,” Richardson said in the release. “This is not a life or death situation, but nonetheless very important. I am very appreciative to be given the flexibility to temporarily step away from coaching and basketball, and to concentrate on my well-being.

“I want to thank Coach Miller, the Arizona basketball family and the athletic department for allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to returning to the Arizona basketball program.”

Prior to making the move to Tucson Richardson was a member of Miller’s coaching staff at Xavier from 2007-09, and his presence on the staff has had a significant impact on the recruiting trail. Arizona’s put together Top 10 recruiting classes in each of the last three years, with the 2012 and 2013 classes being ranked in the top five.

“We support Coach Richardson’s decision to take some time off from his coaching duties,” said Miller. “What’s most important at this time is that he takes care of himself. We will miss his contribution to our program, but giving him time away is the best thing we can do to help. We look forward to his return.”

Also on Coach Miller’s staff as assistants are Joe Pasternack and Damon Stoudamire, who returned to his alma mater in May after spending two years on Josh Pastner’s staff at Memphis.