Riggs to remain
Published 5:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Super: No candidate ‘a fit’
It’s a done deal. Come this August, Jamie Riggs, with his four state titles and 305 wins, will return to the sidelines as head coach for the T.R. Miller Tigers. The return will mark Riggs’ 28th season at the helm.
Riggs announced an April 1 retirement date in December. Since then, nearly 60 candidates applied for the position; however, none were a fit for TRM, said Brewton City Schools’ superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner.
Varner said Riggs is the eighth coach he’s worked with during his career and described the TRM coach as a “proven winner, both on and off the field.”
“(Riggs) has done a great job over the years of helping Brewton’s boys become men,” Varner said. “It would be a travesty to deny our players the mentorship of Jamie Riggs by allowing him to walk away when he clearly possesses everything we are looking for in a head coach.”
Varner said previously that applicant experience was varied; however, the system was looking for a proven winner to lead the Tigers.
“My job was to seek out, and recruit if necessary, the best person to lead and mentor our students at T.R. Miller High School,” Varner said. “ I am confident that I have done that.
“No one is better qualified to fill Jamie Riggs’ shoes than himself. He knows what it takes – and he has what it takes – to lead the T.R Miller football program to continued success.”
In recent years, Riggs has said he would take time after each season to decide if he would keep coaching. So his December announcement wasn’t a shock to locals, albeit a disappointing one.
Riggs said Tuesday he was confident in his decision to lead the Tigers and plans to continue his year-by-year evaluation on whether or not to return to the sidelines the following fall.
“Coaching is something I certainly think I can still do,” Riggs said. “It was never a situation of me being burnt out. My take on retirement hasn’t really changed. I just feel right now it is best for everybody for me to (return). I’m good and ready to go.”
The Tigers will begin spring training in early February with the annual Red and White game to take place on Feb. 19.
On getting TRM ready for the 2016 football season, Riggs said that nothing will change.
“My philosophy will always be the same thing,” he said. “We’re going to hit it hard and fast. We won’t have an issue in getting back in tow and getting ready to go.”
Riggs will return to a 3A class with a couple changes due to this year’s reclassification where Flomaton, Mobile Christian and Clarke County will join a region one group that already includes Bayside Academy, Cottage Hill, Excel, Geneva, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Opp and T.R. Miller.
Riggs said the additions will increase the competition.
“I think those teams coming in have all played solid football,” he said. “Flomaton had a really good team last year. Mobile Christian is going to be a very good team. We’ve played Clarke County for years in some good, close games. It’s going to be a challenge. I’m sure somewhere there is as tough a region as this one, but this one every Friday night you’re going to have to come ready to play.”