Published 5:40 am Monday, July 17, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Chuck Riddle did not answer the first time opportunity knocked. He did not feel he could turn it down the second time it came around.
Riddle resigned from both his teaching duties at W.S. Neal Middle School and his coaching duties at W.S. Neal High School Thursday in order to take a game warden job in Lee County.
Riddle, a 1994 W.S. Neal High School graduate, came back to W.S. Neal in 2004 after a year spent at Escambia County Middle School where he served as junior varsity baseball head coach and varsity baseball assistant coach.
Riddle has coached a little bit of everything during his two years in the W.S. Neal school system. He served as interim head softball coach in 2005 and took over the head coaching position for W.S. Neal High School volleyball last fall. He was the W.S. Neal Middle School girls basketball coach this past winter and guided that program to its first winning season in several years. Riddle has also served as junior varsity and varsity assistant baseball coach at W.S. Neal High School. He has also contributed to the W.S. Neal football program.
Riddle guided W.S. Neal volleyball to a 7-16 record last fall. Those seven wins were four more than any other W.S. Neal team had ever won. With his entire team back from a year ago, Riddle had hopes of leading the Lady Blue Eagles to their first winning season this fall.
Riddle admits leaving at this time does not give W.S. Neal much time to find a replacement for his volleyball position. Practice in that sport begins in less than a month.
Riddle said he will not only miss his players, but the friendships he has developed within the W.S. Neal coaching staff.
Riddle's new job calls for a 12-week training period. Once completed, Riddle will settle into his new position that is based out of Auburn.