Richards was subsequently banned from the sport for three years, with coaches John Kingston, Tony Diprose and Colin Osborne taking full charge at the Twickenham Stoop.
Quins insisted that the structures they have in place would ensure an immediate replacement for Richards would not be needed but a disappointing start to the season has seen them step up their search for his successor.
"We are searching. We are talking to a few people and we've had quite a few approaches," Quins chief executive Mark Evans told the BBC at the launch of this season's Heineken Cup.
"We have only just started the process but will look at all the suitable candidates.
"But we spent a lot of time getting the job specification together and looking at different structures and are just about to go out and talk to a few people."
With Quins yet to win a Guinness Premiership fixture in four attempts so far this season, Evans has hinted that an appointment could be made before Christmas.
But Evans refused to be drawn on whether five-times Lions coach McGeechan was one of the front runners for the role.
"Ian McGeechan has got a terrific track record," added Evans.
"If you put your ideal person there, he would probably have experience of the English game. We've got a lot of English players.
"We have very experienced coaches. John Kingston has been in the game since it went professional, and before it. Technically, he's excellent, and the players like him.
"Colin Osborne has been at the club for 15 years, in various different roles. He's a super attack coach.
"And Tony Diprose has got a great rugby brain - he is going to be an exceptional coach. He's got a great future in the game."