Jamie Rigdon doesn’t like to speak in hypothetical terms. When he’s asked about the prospect of building a successful baseball program at Lighthouse Private Christian Academy, he makes it clear the Stingrays will thrive.
“We will turn it around, just like I did at Pensacola High. That’s what I do,” Rigdon said. “I’m not great at a lot of things in life, but turning programs around is something God has blessed me to do.”
Rigdon announced last week he is resigning from Pensacola at the end of the season, in part because the school district has repeatedly denied transfer opportunities for student-athletes from other schools who wanted to come to Pensacola. It has hindered his ability to take the program further.
But he leaves Pensacola in good shape, the Tigers winning 24 games in the last two years after managing just 72 wins in the three years prior to Rigdon’s arrival. He leaves having proved the doubters wrong.
“People told me we couldn’t be competitive here and we were,” Rigdon said. “I enjoyed my time at Pensacola. It’s a great place and I love the bonds I’ve made, but it’s time to move on to a new opportunity.”
That new opportunity is at a school with an athletic program that is still in its infancy. Rigdon goes into it with new-found energy.
“I said I’d never coach baseball again but being at Pensacola re-energized me,” Rigdon said. “Turning things around there really energized me about coaching baseball again.”
Read the full article in the May 4 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.