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Rockville Baseball Coach Named R.A.I.S.E. Champion for Children

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In his 27th year at Rockville High School, Farron Riggs is much more than just a baseball coach. This year’s R.A.I.S.E. Champion for Children is a pillar in the school building and Rockville community. He has won numerous accolades for his service to Rockville and the MCPS baseball community, including the 2011 and 2018 MCPS Baseball Coach of the Year and the 2018 Maryland State Baseball Coach of the Year.

Coach Riggs motivates students to not only excel on the diamond, but to become the best version of themselves. His teams consistently win the MCPS Sportsmanship Award, and he ensures that his players show respect to other players, coaches, umpires and fans. 

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“You teach for the love of the kids,” he says. “It’s been great for me over the years.

“In February 1995, I lost my mom. I was sputtering through. Getting ready for the baseball season, the kids rallied around me and pulled me together and got me through a tough time. I thanked them for that. I do this for them … Kids can be pretty special at times.”

Riggs’ MCPS career started as a paraeducator at Gaithersburg Elementary School. But he soon moved to his home in Rockville, where he has coached baseball, football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and golf (he just gave that up a few years ago).

He grew up in Rockville, listening to the school band warming up on Saturday mornings. Once he got into middle school, he was the water boy for the football team. As a kid, he played football, baseball, basketball and soccer with his friends. By high school, he focused on baseball and played for two years at Francis Marion University in S.C., before walking on and being redshirted at N.C. State University, where he later graduated.

“Sports is an outlet for kids,” Riggs said. “They get out of the building and leave their everyday stuff behind and have some fun and show off their athleticism. It’s good energy and something I’ve always enjoyed, from the first kid on the bench to the last kid.

“It is a motivator for some of these kids. I talk to some parents and they’ll say, ‘He’s not listening to me.’ I control what they love to do. We might have a talk. We’re the people that can actually get them to do what they need to do and hopefully it pushes them down the right path.

“Many of the conversations we have don’t even deal with baseball or sports; it’s the other conversations that really help and motivate them and try to keep them going in a positive direction. I’ll tell them, ‘Make good decisions; think about what your mom would say before you do it.’ Usually that works,” he says with a chuckle.

Coach Riggs has an innate ability to build friendships with students, but is also able to maintain the role of teacher and coach. He celebrates the wins; but more importantly, mentors through all the losses. He continuously has alumni coming back to visit and help coach, which is a testament to his mentorship.

“I love it,” he says. “I love the kids I interact with. It keeps me young, keeps me involved and I can’t ask for more than what the game has given me.”