Riggs Steps Down at Ferrum as head men’s wrestling coach

College Sports

FERRUM, Virginia — Ryan Riggs has resigned as Head Men’s Wrestling Coach at Ferrum College in order to accept the same position at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Riggs is a native of Perry Township, Ohio.

The Purple Raider wrestling team is a perennial ranked in the top-10 amongst its NCAA Division III peers and competes regularly for top honors in the rugged Ohio Athletic Conference.

Riggs was hired at Ferrum in July 2016, where he immediately stepped in as the assistant men’s wrestling coach, as well as serving as the head women’s wrestling coach that season. The next fall, Riggs stepped in to fill an opening as the head cross country coach, in addition to his duties on the wrestling mat. He was promoted to associate head men’s wrestling coach in July of 2018, then was named head men’s wrestling coach in March 2020.

As associate head coach, Riggs took on more day-to-day operations of the program, including recruiting, fundraising, practice development and coordinating Ferrum men’s wrestling social media presence. He was instrumental in helping Ferrum host the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Riggs also helped the Panthers host the NCAA Southeast Regional tournaments in 2017 and 2018. He has served as tournament director for the Star City Classic, Southeast Duals and Panther Open, all tournaments hosted by Ferrum.

In Riggs’ first season as an assistant at Ferrum, the Panther men won the 2017 NCAA Div. III Southeast Regional, with Riggs earning Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors. Ferrum sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament that season, including Logan Meister, who was a three-time NCAA qualifier, and Zack Beckner, who became the program’s first National Finalist and NCAA runner-up.

“Ferrum College and the Franklin County community have been wonderful to me,” said Riggs. “I will look back on this time with a lot of great memories and wish the Panthers much success going forward. I appreciate all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff who helped the wrestling team gain national recognition. Helping build a program and forming strong relationships makes this a difficult decision, but I am excited to return home to Ohio as the head wrestling coach at the University of Mount Union.”

Ferrum won Southeast Wrestling Conference Tournament (SWEC) titles all four years during Riggs’ tenure as assistant and associate head coach. He was named SEWC Assistant Coach of the Year in 2019. The Panthers posted top-10 finishes at a number of prestigious events, most notably the Pete Willson Invitational (2nd in 2017), the NWCA National Duals (8th in 2017) and the Citrus Open (2nd in 2019).

“We greatly appreciate all the work Ryan Riggs has done for Ferrum College and our wrestling program,” said Director of Athletics John Sutyak. “He has been a valued presence in this department, serving as a head coach of our cross country and women’s wrestling programs, in addition to his main roles as the head and associate head men’s wrestling coach. Ryan’s hard work and dedication has been a huge reason for the success of Ferrum College men’s wrestling these past five years. On behalf of Ferrum, I wish Ryan well in his transition from being a Panther, to a Purple Raider.”

Ferrum College will hold a press conference Wednesday, June 9, at 3:00 p.m. to introduce its new Head Men’s Wrestling Coach. The press conference will be held inside the classroom in the lower level of the Hank Norton Center. Director of Athletics John Sutyak will begin with a few comments before introducing Ferrum’s third Head Men’s Wrestling Coach. 

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