Richards, who replaced Scott Arniel on an interim basis Jan. 9, inherited a team that was 11-25-5, but guided them to an 18-21-2 finish. However, their 29 wins and 65 points on the season were the fewest in the League.
"At the end of last season, Craig [Patrick, senior advisor] and I reviewed all aspects of the year and took a close look at the job Todd did leading our club over the final 41 games," GM Scott Howson said. "As we analyzed available coaching candidates and individuals who might become available, it became very clear to us that he is the right person to lead our team. Our team continuously improved under Todd and he has earned the opportunity to build upon the work he started."
This is Richards' second full-time job as an NHL coach. He guided the Minnesota Wild to a 77-71-16 record from 2009-11.
"I am very grateful to the McConnell family, our ownership group, Scott, Craig and the organization for the opportunity to continue as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets," Richards said. "We have a lot of work to do to give our fans the type of team they want but I am really excited about what lies ahead. We made strides last season and I'm confident that our players are ready for the challenges before us."