Tate High Head Football Coach Ed Rigby Resigns

January 27, 2012

Tate High School head football coach Ed Rigby submitted his resignation Thursday following a winless season.

“I can confirm that I spoke to Coach Rigby today and he has resigned his position as head football coach,” Tate High Principal Rick Shackle said Thursday afternoon. “We are certainly very grateful for his commitment and dedication and wish him the very best.”

Shackle would not confirm if Rigby would remain at Tate in any other position.

The application process to replace Rigby will be immediately, the principal said, following district guidelines.

Rigby has been at Tate six seasons, with a 22-39 overall record.  He took over the Tate program in 2006, becoming the Aggies’ third coach in just eight months. He led the team to the playoffs in 2008, their first appearance in eight years and just their third playoff appearance since a 1980 state championship.

The Aggies were 0-11 in 2011.


37 Responses to “Tate High Head Football Coach Ed Rigby Resigns”

  1. Matt Lee on February 6th, 2012 3:00 pm

    Well let me tell you all something, Coach RIgby coached me in college where I played offensive line for the TABOR COLLEGE BLUEJAYS and he was a hell of a coach and even a better person off the field. I remember those days back when I was at Tabor I was a young man that, at the time, was going to school and raising a family, my son zach was just 3 at the time, and coach Ribgy gave me inspiration and motivation on the field and in the game of life. And I am tellin ya there was No other coach that could get you primed and ready for a game like COACH RIGBY!! if anyone has his contact info could you please email it to me it would be greatly appreciated

    Thank You
    Matt Lee

  2. melissa on January 31st, 2012 10:34 pm

    Bubba I totally agree with you. Yes I will miss Coach Rigby but it is time to get back to winning. Get the parents off the field that is there for their son only and get the real coaches on the field. We are hoping for the best in the upcoming year and Pray to God it will be a great one for the guys and everyone. Come on Bennett I know Bubba and alot of other are waiting for you.

  3. Stephanie Morris on January 30th, 2012 10:59 am

    My son is a Senior this year and has played under Coach Rigby for the past 4 years. We had a bad season but every team does from the NFL to College. I have to agree with what some of the people have said on here that truly know the man that Coach Rigby is – this is a man who has taught our guys more than just football. He is a great role model and mentor for each kid whether they play football or just have the privilege of knowing him. I hate that this has happened to him but it’s always true what they say “God has a plan for all of us” and this only leads Coach Rigby to his next school and possibly some kids there that the need the guidance and moral teaching he gave to our guys. My son was very upset about all of this and told me that he hopes the people involved in having HIS Coach fired feel bad for what they have done. I wish the school board could have either fired him (which is really what happened – or should I say – what is the truth) after the season was over and not the morning of the Senior Banquet – shame on all of you to do this to a group if kids who think the world of “their” coach not matter what a bunch of adults say. If anybody knows the true man behind the coach it would be his players. It was sad to not see him at the banquet but the kids didn’t let it go – in fact – after the banquet was over the all decided to go see Coach Rigby and that shows the true character of the men they have all become under Coach Rigby’s influence. Let’s face it – when we send our kids to school it’s not only to learn the basic of academics but we want them to come away with something more and Coach Rigby did this.

    My son is a honor student headed for Florida State this fall with a GPA of 4.15 – we have several seniors on the team heading to major colleges and not necessarily for football but because of their academics and to me this means more than just having a winning season. Of course you won’t hear about these kids on the TV or in the newspaper but believe me I know the truth and that is these kids have learned more from Coach Rigby than just football and that’s what matters.

    For those of you who don’t think recruiting happens in high school football – you are so misled but you can’t really blame on the other coaches recruiting the kids but the county administrators that let it happen.

    Thanks Coach Rigby for the 4 years you had a part in helping my husband and I shape my son into the man he is today. You will be missed at Tate and I only hope the best for you in the future. May God bless you and your family!!!!!!

  4. Football Mom of 3 on January 30th, 2012 9:42 am

    I have one child who has played football under Coach Rigby for two years. My husband and I were very impressed with the way he presented himself, ran the program & had only the best intentions for his players. In fact, we were hoping our youngest would get to play for Coach Rigby next year when he starts Tate. I would like Coach Rigby to know we appreciate everything he has done for both of our boys. Good luck as you and your family move forward to new and exciting things!

  5. Lets All Get Real on January 29th, 2012 2:21 pm

    You know, I agree with “Tate Football Mom” – It is a shame that a few alumni who have close ties with downtown administration could have such pull, such contempt, and such hatred toward a man they do not know, a team they do not support, and a school they are not in touch with – to which they have no further commitment to other than “voting” rights at the polls. OK – I get it – they helped build the stadium, the school, the past history. Big deal, it’ is NOT about the past, or the alumni – it’s about the students here and now, and the future.

    Are the future students, parents, coaches, and whoever else – suppose to bow down to past “alumni”??? You know, I can’t recall a single alumni (and you know who you are) at a Tate Aggie QB Club meeting, a fund raiser, knocking on doors for donations, painting the stadium, picking up trash…?????? Shame, shame, shame. And people – leave Coach Bennett alone, geese…. I can’t imagine he would come to Tate in the midst of all this. What in the world would he gain?

    Do your homework people, college scouts could care less about the winning/loosing season of a high school, they care about the PLAYER – not the scoreboard. Stop living your lives through the coaches, and your CHILDREN!

    And if any of the “alumni” that made calls, placed letters to admin, complained about the coaches, etc, etc…. if you think for one second that Pensacola is so large that people of Tate do not know who or what your intentions are, you might want to wake up.

    The best of luck to you Coach Rigby. A good Coach, and a GREAT example for the players and students of ANY sport.

  6. WOW... on January 29th, 2012 8:44 am

    @ ashamed…Very easy for an WFHS alumni to say that OF COURSE!!!
    All the high school prepare students for their future…not just WFHS.
    And ALL high school have an abundance of students that live on mommy and daddy
    money until they figure out what they want to do—not just Tate.

    Grow up and stop pointing fingers.

  7. Ashamed on January 29th, 2012 12:40 am

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves. If you can sit there and belittle the students who worked hard to get into a program that puts them into a situation where they can make something of their life, then check your own life. I went to WFHS, and Northview, and my older brother went to Tate, and I have seen first hand the way Tate athletics are run. The good old boy, my dad played with the coach system can only work so long. Since when is high school all about sports? Instead of talking about football recruiting that hinders Tate’s success, why not talk about the act that students leave these academies more prepared to be of value to our community. Where as Tate has an abundance of people who feel it is completely okay to get by on mommy and daddy’s money until they figure out what to do with there life. Let’s try and leave the students out of this who decided to work for a future. WFHS doesn’t seem to be pumping out Div. 1 prospects, but it does put out young men and women who are prepared to be of some value to or community.

  8. 24/7 on January 28th, 2012 10:46 pm

    Northview has kids from their district that play @ PHS, WFHS, Flomaton, Escambia Academy and Atmore.. They had a winning season and they are not complaining about it. I guess people have to blame it on something, recruiting is it.. Who cares coach what you have and dont worry about what you dont. The article was Coach Rigby, and not recruiting.. I wish Coach Rigby all the best.. Bubba Said it best let the coaches coach and the fans sit in the stands and watch the game..

  9. Amazed... on January 28th, 2012 3:48 pm

    I have been reading the comments on here and I just can’t believe that some people are so malicious. This article is about Coach Rigby. It is not about who the next coach is going to be. Maybe Mr. Shackle already knows who that may be and maybe he doesn’t. It really doesn’t matter.
    Coach Rigby was not perfect, but he coached for the right reasons, and his players knew it. I think that his heart was in the right place and his intentions were always the best. There are many players that looked up to him and will miss him dearly. I know that this is very difficult for him, especially when his own children will (or maybe not) attend Tate.
    There are some flaws to the academies that the high school are offering when it comes to sports. ALL high school recruit and you will NEVER be able to convince me otherwise. Yes, it is a fact that many students that live within Tate’s district attend WFHS. It is a shame because it does take away from the talent that should be attending Tate–especially when WFHS has a bus stop that picks up in front of Tate!!! I feel that Coach Rigby has done the best with what he was given. Do you think that the players don’t see it?? Many of their friends that they know and still hang out with go to other high schools. I do not know if it fair to say they chose to go other school because of academies or the coach.
    Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on Tate to see who will take over and “turn the program” around. But what happens to the next coach when the same thing goes on??? If he doesn’t have a winning season…are we going to blame him or the situation? Hmmmmm…makes me wonder.
    i wish Coach RIgby and his family all the best. I know that this is heartbreaking, but God has a bigger plan. Prayers and much love to you!

  10. Tate Football Mom on January 28th, 2012 12:08 pm

    As the mom of a Tate football player it’s obvious that the group of 70’s football alumni players (those who call and complain to downtown) have no clue as to what kind of man Coach Rigby really is. He is a man of character that has tried to instill the values of intergity, working hard and to be there for your team mates when they are going thru the trials that make us the person we will become. It will be very hard to replace him with a coach that loves Tate High School as much as Coach Rigby does.

    Mr. Shackle, you should be ashamed to have let Coach Rigby go before the football banquet. You owe each of the Senior football players an apology for this. But, hats off to the other coaches that stepped up and made the banquet a success by honoring the Senior players.

    As to the group of 70’s alumni where are you when it’s time to clean the stadium for football season, where are you when it’s time to work the Aggie Shack, where are you when it’s time to sell football program ads or sell programs at the home games, where are you when the booster club meets every month. You are no where to be found. But, you are quick to sit in the stands and complain about the coaching of the team.

    Coach Rigby, I want to thank you for the last 2 years you have coached my son. You have been a mentor, teacher and encourager to him and I appreciate what you have done for the football program. You may not think so now but, God has great plans for you and he will take care of you and your family.

  11. LoveThemNoles on January 27th, 2012 9:49 pm

    This article is about the resignation about coach Rigby, not coach Bennett. Not too sure why you are bashing a man that as of right now has no connection to Tate other than beating them year after year. And the comment was true cantonment is small, also one that loves to spread rumors. Bennett would be a great replacement especially to bring back the programs. It’s funny you call him a recruiter but I bet you cannot name any one of his players that he recruited. Just hear something and decide to spread the rumor. Oh wait I think his son plays for him, he must have recruited him…Tate fans are something else. How come I rarely hear pine forest, pace, Washington, Catholic, escambia fans crying about recruiting. I mean come on, compare programs, coaches success, and best chance to get the next level and you too would go to a different school other than Tate. Local Coaches don’t have to recruit Tate athletes, their own program has been pushing them away.

  12. Tate Parent on January 27th, 2012 9:11 pm

    There is good and bad in here. Question: Anyone think that perhaps, just perhaps, Coach Bennett would not choose to be in the selection process at Tate? Unless I am missing something: because of his “character”, his “ethics” and his “duty” to where he is now – I am going to go WAY OUT ON A LIMB, and predict that he will not even consider the opening at Tate. I know Coach Bennett, he is a GREAT Coach, but more than that – I think he is a great MAN on character. How about lets all wait and see.

  13. Parent on January 27th, 2012 9:02 pm

    to Tatertot:

    No slander here. Perhaps someone should not wear their emotions so close to the skin? The reference made earlier was to the open recruiting that goes on in Escambia County. Pensacola is a small community, Cantonment is even smaller. Just saying…… Nothing is in stone yet. By they way, do you have a kid in football? You know, there are people who love to voice opinions, and “squeak” – but this is not the time. The students and faculty of Tate High School deserve better.

  14. Everett on January 27th, 2012 8:46 pm

    I was at Tate in 80 when we won the state championship.

    The coach (Rigby) did the best he could with what he had to work with. Organized sports is a wondeful tool in that it teaches teamwork, responsibility and team pride. I attended several games this year at Tate. I was surprised at the small number of players on the varsity team. I also saw the students, their parents, and grandparents attending these games. You have also remember these kids are out here to have fun. Only a small percentage of high school athletes go on the become pro’s.

    I do agree with some of the others that there are Tate students going to other schools outside of their districts. With the addition of NFHS quite a few of “would be Aggies” are now their.

    There is still the same school spirit that was there as when I attended. Those of you who talk about the low school spirit and morale I don’t think you are “True Aggies” by any standards. Your true character comes out with your postings on this article. I’m extremely proud of Tate School win, lose, or draw. I don’t believe in supporting a team only when they are “winning”.

    This school has come a long way from when it was a dirt floor agricultural school in 1878. The same from school spirit from the then still moves across that campus yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    I look forward to the upcoming baseball season at Tate.

    If you don’t like the school………………….take your children somewhere else. Those of you who are trying to live your lives through kids……………get a life.

  15. Aggies11 on January 27th, 2012 8:45 pm

    Tatertot –
    I know Mike Bennett is a good coach, but he is an even better recruiter. Look at Nick Saban, he is a great coach, but he gets the best players from all around. Bennett has proven success and that is why kids want to go play for him. Bennett can go up to Cantonment ballpark on any Saturday during youth football and go up to the best players parents and be like ” hey all you need to do to get your son at PHS is put him in the law academy and he is good to go.” He does it legally but he knows EXACTLY what he is doing and using the academic programs as a recruiting advantage. It is so obvious. Whatever wins right.

  16. aggies11 on January 27th, 2012 8:33 pm

    Bennett is a good coach because he uses recruiting as an advantage. Look at Nick Saban at Alabama. He wins not only because he is a great coach; but because he is a great recruiter. Bennett can go up to Cantonment ballpark and go to the best kids and say ” Hey, look what we got going on PHS, all you have to do is sign up for this law academy and your in.” If you think Bennett doesn’t know what he is doing with these out of area kids going into these academic programs; then i don’t know what else to tell you. It is high school coaches using academic programs as loopholes to get the players they want legally.

  17. TaterTot on January 27th, 2012 7:31 pm


    Please clarify where you obtained this information about Coach Bennett from. SInce you are verbally bashing the BEST coach in the area I think we have the right to know your source. Bennett turned Pensacola High School’s program around and would do the same for Tate if they are lucky enough to get him. He works harder than any other coach to develop his players both on and off the field and does everything in his power to help every player get to the next level. He is an AMAZING father figure to both his own children and his players as well and deserves credit for the countless hours he puts into his program. Name one other coach who would work as hard as he does at a school where the is little to none parent and /or booster support. The simple fact is there is no other coach like Mike Bennett. You obviously have some vendetta and are spreading malicious lies which is legally slander. If the superintendent was so unhappy with Bennett than why is he constantly praising him for his efforts and success and attending so may of Bennett’s games. And if Bennett is so horrible why is he the one coach that college coaches have the best relationship with in Escambia county.

    Tater: If you have an issue with kids attending PHS whom live out of district then you should take that up with the school board. Every child who attends Pensacola High School and does not live within its designated area is enrolled in one of the three magnet programs (IB, Law Academy, or Health Academy). How can you blame Bennett for this? If these programs were located at any other school would you accuse that coach of recruiting too?

  18. tate pleyer on January 27th, 2012 5:57 pm

    ok most of the people commenting on here think that they know it all and can do some much better. so then why dont yall come coach us ight if not please stop with all this bs he was my friend and coach and i hope he comes back to tell us all goodbye dont just leave coach rigby from one of your biggest freshmen come say goodbye

  19. Toparent on January 27th, 2012 5:57 pm

    I would love to know who he has recruited ?? I think you got your facts messed up if your a smart player you would want to play for Mike. He will get you to the next level

  20. bubba on January 27th, 2012 5:11 pm

    I think you need to check your records the only thing Mike has in his file is seeking approval to put a game on the radio.We have lost more coaches at tate than we have players.This is not about the adults this is about the STUDENTS …..TATE needs the very best coach out there.You do not have to like him or eat with him as long as he is GOOD to the kids and HELPS get them to collage that is what it is about. Go talk to the players that have PLAYED FOR HIM …..Mike has done that..If the coaches or parents were any good at playing we would still be playing…TATE BASEBALL is headed in the right direction and now it is time for FOOTBALL to do the same.A program is only as strong as the support…….GET THE BEST COACH AND KEEP THE PARENTS IN THE STANDS NOT ON THE FOOTBALL FEILD !!!!!!!!!

  21. tater on January 27th, 2012 5:03 pm

    I believe Bennett is a great coach, but an even better recruiter. He has tons of out of district talent that goes to PHS, It;s an incredible he hasn’t gotbusted for it yet. I’m curious what Bennett could do at Tate without the innercity area athletes.

  22. justsayin on January 27th, 2012 3:51 pm


  23. Mike Harris on January 27th, 2012 3:40 pm

    To Parent -

    Based on observing H.S. football programs in this area the last fifteen years, when parents have input on who is hired as a head or assistant coach, a kid’s playing time, etc., that program is doomed to fail. From what i’ve seen this has led to Tate’s decline.

    Parents today fail to, or refuse to accept that while their kids may have been successful players at the lower levels, they may not possess the talent or skill set to play or even be successful at the High School level. Coaches like Mike Bennett, Mickey Lindsey, Jerry Pollard, Greg Seibert have been successful because they do not allow parents or their players dictate how their programs are run.

  24. RollTideRoll on January 27th, 2012 2:23 pm

    My nephew plays football at Tate. First let me say that we will miss Coach Rigby and that regardless of who they hire, he won’t care more about the Tate students and the Tate community than Coach Rigby did. You can’t replace that.
    If the plan was to fire Rigby, then it should have been done at the end of the football season months ago. But that didn’t happen because he was told that he would be the head football coach next year. He did not resign, he was fired.
    I have a feeling that he was not fired by the administration at Tate either, but by the higher-ups in the school district from downtown as many of them are Tate graduates. Of course the official statement will say “resigned” though. It probably went something like this, “you can resign or be fired”.
    If all the students that lived in Tate’s district actually went to Tate, they would be dominant in all sports. However, the Academies that schools have now allow students to transfer out of their district and attend another school if the school that they should attend doesn’t offer a particular academy. So, in my opinion, it just creates a loophole that allows coaches that have less integrity than Coach Rigby to recruit players to an out of district school, and Tate is left trying its hardest just to keep its best athletes at Tate, and then are forced to win without them. Winning would keep the best players at Tate, but at the same time it’s more difficult to win without them.
    I can only hope that if they haven’t already decided who the next coach will be before they complete the interview process, that they will choose a man that has genuine integrity and cares even half as much about Tate the way that Coach Rigby does.

  25. Well on January 27th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Good luck Mr. Rigby.

    The person replacing you may need even more?

  26. Toparent on January 27th, 2012 12:39 pm

    Name some reasons why you wouldn’t higher Bennett ? He’s the best coach in the area hands down.

  27. Wondering on January 27th, 2012 12:24 pm

    When the school district stops the recruiting by some the schools, especially WFHS, Tate may be able to win.

  28. aggie parent on January 27th, 2012 11:50 am

    Ok, look people. There are tons of issues at Tate. The coach takes and ACCEPTS responisbility for losses. Several times I heard, “its the players I had to work with and this year i have the players i need”..REALLY..we see how well that worked out!!! Tate athletics has been struggling, school spirit is down. They have an awesome student body ready to come out but i hear the “painted kids” are frowned upon by admin…WHY…they dont hurt anyone and speaking for myself, a aprent in the stand..I LOVE TO SEE THAT!!!!!…

    I just want to see TATE back up there in everthing. I mean, you couldnt ask for a better community.

  29. Parent on January 27th, 2012 11:32 am

    Mike Bennett is NOT the answer – I challenge anyone to look into Mike Bennett and ask around. In fact, I challenge anyone to ask for the visitation records for the Superintendents office downtown. Politics as usual. Want a parent, player, community revolt? Put Mike Bennett in the running.

  30. j crumpler on January 27th, 2012 10:14 am

    ok i play for tate and it aint coach rigby fault at all it is all the kids that r supposed to go to tate that dont half the people that i went to middle school with that played football wanted to go any where else so it aint his fault it sad he has to go like this

  31. 2013timetoshine on January 27th, 2012 9:39 am

    Time for Mike Bennett. They should have hired him along time ago. I really think he can turn this program around and have the community supporting him and get Tate football back to its prime.

  32. mom on January 27th, 2012 9:13 am

    Society makes tooo big of a deal when it comes to “playing” ball. Most of these kids leave High School and go on working out in society. High School football should teach kids team work, faithfulness to show up for practice, respect to others, and building good relationships with others. If they win, great. If they did their best and didn’t win, great. That is all the coach should ask of them. A coach should not blame himself for the abilities or lack of abilities of the students. His goal is to make them do their best, and build from what he has to work with. Each year is different because he has different kids. Get a grip!

    From an experienced teacher…

  33. Tatealum on January 27th, 2012 8:26 am

    Rigby was a great guy off the field. The one main problem with is coaching is that he could not keep players for whatever reason. You can’t blame 0-10 all on coaching, (David Moorehead is one of the best QB’s in the county) but look where the Tate district talent is scattered throughout Escambia County. That’s the problem. Until Tate can find a coach that can convince those younger guys in Tate district to actually go to Tate and stay there for all four years; it will be a reoccuring losing trend.

  34. Tate Parent on January 27th, 2012 7:56 am

    Ok… the score board reads 44-0, the buzzer blows – you win another game; Next week, the same, and the week after that, the same. The season ends, great job, hard work, congratulations. Now, let’s fast forward twenty years. Question: What did the score board read on game 3 of season 2? Ok, what about the names of the opposing team, and the score of game 7 in season 1, season 6, any season – any game? A great coach of the game of football once said, “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” – Tom Krause

    I am a father of two sons who play football at Tate. Lets hypothetically suppose I had the choice of two teams to enroll my sons in, team “A” has a winning season and will get there at ANY cost, team “B” has a mediocre season – BUT, a coach that teaches more than just “X”s and “O”s . A “true” coach is a mentor, role model, teacher, counselor, and even a step in dad for many young men in our school system.

    I think we would all agree, winning isn’t everything, but it does matter – otherwise why keep score? But with that being said, as a FATHER, a MOTHER – 20 years after the high school football experience, what do you want your sons to remember – the score board, or the moral and ethical values instilled in your son by hard work and self motivation.

    This father is not so naive to think that politics and pressure from the “squeaky wheels” did not have something to do with this decision which appears to have come from downtown. I also understand a season that was 0-10 would and perhaps should not go “unanswered”. But one must ask with a certain degree of maturity and logic, was this the RIGHT choice by administration? I assume (knowing what that means) there are more educated and qualified reasons and rational that this father just does not understand….

    Back to our question from earlier: now ask your son about that coach from twenty years past, that gave him a ride home after practice, asked most every week – “how are things”, or how about that coach that spent hours at the death bed of the father of team player? The answer…..? Yea, your son would know that name 20, 30 or even 50 years later.

    I do not have the answer, but I am almost certain – this is not it. Good luck Coach Rigby, and God Bless……..

  35. The Daughter on January 27th, 2012 7:43 am

    I hope this isn’t the coach the UWF has recruited for their upcoming football team. Good luck to the man either way.

  36. why? on January 27th, 2012 6:57 am

    I’ve never understood why it all falls on the coach. Unless a coach is abusing the players in some way, it takes more than one person to win a game. There are lots of people involved. Why not fire the whole football team and get all new players? You never see that happen though.

    I don’t know Coach Rigby at all, nor do I know any of the players at Tate. I wish Mr. Rigby luck with his future endeavors.

  37. J. Deere on January 27th, 2012 12:55 am

    Kinda had to expect that after a 0-11 season…

    But then, Tate is a Baseball school. I was there for 4 years, went to a dozen home football games and never had one win, so we just became accustomed to losing/sucking.

    Go Aggies…

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