Porter’s Chapel hires Riggin as baseball head coach

Published 11:46 am Friday, July 28, 2023

Rob Riggin is the son of a baseball coach, a self-described “dugout rat” with a lifelong passion for the game. He himself has coached at nearly every amateur level of the sport, from high school to high-end travel ball and college.

Now, he’s bringing his passion and talents to Porter’s Chapel Academy. The school announced Friday that it has hired Riggin as its next baseball head coach.

“I’d always said if I made a change I’d always like to go back into coaching high school. This opportunity came up and fit me pretty well, so I’d like to do it,” the 56-year-old said. “I know a lot of the kids there. I’ve coached them. It’s just a good fit. I probably wouldn’t have done it if it was Northwest Rankin or something like that. It’s a good fit, I thought.”

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Riggin will replace Paul Ashley, who parted ways with the school in May. Ashley led the Eagles to a 41-32 record and three consecutive playoff appearances in his three seasons. In 2022, they reached the third round of the Class 3A playoffs.

“I believe he left them in a good spot. I appreciate that and would like to build on that and just go forward,” Riggin said.

Riggin will bring a different perspective to the program. He has coached baseball for 18 years, including stints as an assistant with Raymond High School and the Jackson 96ers.

The 96ers, one of Mississippi’s best-known elite high school travel teams, won the NABF World Series wood bat tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, last weekend with a roster that included several players from Warren County. One of them, John Wyatt Massey, was the MVP of the tournament and is heading into his senior year at PCA.

Riggin’s son Robi also attended Porter’s Chapel as an eighth-grader before transferring to and graduating from Raymond High School. Riggin and his family live in Learned.

“I’ve got some history at PCA and know some of the people and a lot of the kids,” Riggin said.

As a coach, Riggin said he’ll try to bring a strong work ethic and an eye for winning baseball to the Eagles’ program.

“It’s going to be a lot more excitement. A lot more thinking. A lot more baserunning, making the other team make mistakes so that we can capitalize on that,” he said. “I don’t like the slow game of baseball. I like it to be fast and make them make mistakes.”

Riggin’s philosophy has been honed during a lifetime in the sport. His father was an assistant coach at Hinds Community College for a few years, and he has been around the game since an early age.

“I grew up in a dugout. My father coached at Hinds. So I was a little dugout rat, I’d guess you say, from a young age. I just love baseball,” he said.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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