Richardson came to Purdue after spending a year and a half as a graduate assistant coach at the University of South Alabama and acting as a coach and assistant director for the Mobile Storm Volleyball Club.
At South Alabama, the East Tennessee State alumna worked with the passers and defensive players and assisted with scouting, recruiting, travel and game-day operations. She also was the Summer Programs Coordinator, acting as the liaison between the athletic department and the internal/external summer camp programs.
Richardson also garnered coaching experience at St. Paul's Episcopal High School in Mobile, where she acted as the school's freshman coach in 2007.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Richardson was a retail sales representative for The Hershey Company and an inside sales representative and sales associate for the Cintas Corporation.
A four-year starter and two-time team captain at ETSU, Richardson played two years under head coach Deanne Webb, before finishing her career under head coach Lindsey Devine. The outside hitter/libero is a two-time member of the 30-dig club and ranks among the ETSU career top five in digs (3rd) and digs per set (5th).
As a prepster, Karen played outside hitter for Purdue assistant John Shondell's New Castle Chrysler High School team. The four-year starter and two-year team captain garnered All-North Central Conference first team honors three times.
Richardson was a member of the Munciana Volleyball Club from 1993 to 2001, playing for five different coaches including Shondell. She helped Munciana to a national championship in 1997, a national runner up finish in 1994 and an appearance in the US Junior Olympics quarterfinals in 1998.
The daughter of Larry and Bonnie Freeburg, Karen received her bachelor's degree from ETSU in August 2005 with a major in communications and a minor in marketing. Richardson has one sister, Kimi, who played volleyball at USC and is currently head coach at Eastern Michigan, and one brother, Ryan, who is an assistant coach at Alabama.
Karen married Jeremy Richardson on July 28, 2012.