Rodger “Coach” Rigdon, 97, passed away in his home on Dec. 2, 2020.
He was born on a farm in Illinois and grew up in the gold-mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, where his family moved during the Great Depression. Eventually, he became a teacher and coach in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he met and married his wife Mary. They were married on Dec. 7, 1951.
Following service in the Army Air Corp during World War II, Rodger returned to college to complete his education. He received his BA and MA from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. While teaching in Grand Junction, he played semi-professional baseball. He loved baseball, basketball, and football and his coaching prowess would lead him to Coronado High School (CHS).
As an Islander football coach in the 1950s and 1960s, Rigdon’s teams were victorious against tough schools in the Avocado League. Many of his players still reside in Coronado and fondly remember a tough win against Oxnard. He published some of his winning plays, and was selected by the Breitbard Athletic Foundation as an All-Star Coach. When his coaching career at CHS ended, Rodger received multiple coaching position offers around the country but chose to remain in Coronado, the town he loved.
As a recipient of the California Master Teacher award in 1973, Rodger was honored for his teaching of Industrial Arts at CHS. Some of his students have gone on to design and build many of the homes in Coronado.
Rodger was active in the United Methodist Church. He was also an avid golfer, and served as president of the Coronado Men’s Golf Club.
Rodger “Coach” Rigdon is preceded in death by one brother and a sister. He is survived by his wife Mary; children Jeff, Lisa, and Randy; grand-children Ryan and Scott; his brother George; and nieces and nephews. He will be interred at the Miramar National Cemetery. No services are planned.