Ed Rigby couldn’t help but love Elba’s tradition and community pride.
The veteran coach will get to see it on a daily basis after being hired Thursday as Elba High School’s new head football coach by the Elba School Board.
Rigby, who has 22 years of coaching experience, including 12 as a head coach, was an assistant coach this past year at Goshen and was previously head coach at Tate (Fla.) in Pensacola for six years.
He is the husband of first-year Troy University women’s basketball coach Chanda Rigby.
The new Tigers’ coach said he was ready to take over an Elba program that has won six state titles and has two state runner-up finishes in its history.
“I am very excited,” Ed Rigby said. “It (the football program) is rich in tradition and is a program that has shown how to be successful over the years.
“It is a great community. At Elba, they take pride in football and in the school. There is a great sense of community and that is exciting. They support everything, not just football. They go to the plays and to the FFA and other things. I like that. I like that it is community driven.”
Rigby replaces Scott Rials, who left a month ago to take the head football job at Satsuma near Mobile.
In addition to his roles at Goshen and Tate, Rigby has served as head coach at Albany (1993-94) and Loranger (1996-99) high schools in Louisiana and has coached at four different levels – high school, junior college, NAIA and NCAA.
“He is a high-energy guy,” Elba superintendent Rick Rainer said. “I am excited for the community and for the program. He was what we were looking for.
“He has been a coach on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is an old offensive lineman by trade, so he understands the importance of the game up in the trenches.
“I was impressed with him from a football standpoint and as a total school person. He is someone who will support all of the other programs.”
In addition to his football role, Rigby will be a physical education teacher at Elba.
He and his wife, Chanda, have two sons, Ramsey and Randon. Ramsey is a ninth grader who played quarterback this past year at Goshen. Randon, an eighth-grader, participates in basketball and golf.
Rigby said he had three main points in his football philosophy.
“There are three things it takes to be a successful in high school football,” Rigby said. “No. 1, you have to believe in what you are doing. No. 2, you have to get your players to believe and No. 3 is proper placement of personnel.”
As a result, Rigby said he is pretty flexible in the type of offensive scheme he might run.
“I prefer the spread and at Elba, I believe the pieces are there to run the spread with some good wide receivers and a top-rated back returning,” Rigby said. “But I want to look at the talent we have. I would like to run spread, but I have been at places where we had to run it every play.”
Defensively, Rigby likes an aggressive, attacking style of play. He is a strong advocate of the 3-5-3 scheme.
“I want to bring the heat,” Rigby said. “In high school football, the more pressure you put on the quarterback, the more pressure you put on the offense, the more successful you will be.
“To sum it up, I want to rush the passer and react to the run on the way.”
Off the field, Rigby describes himself as an “old school” guy with “core values” of the past.
“I am very discipline-oriented,” Rigby said. “I want make sure we do the little things the right way and I am big on the core values of communication and hard work, things that made this country great.”
He says he bases his coaching on five traits – to outwork people, that time is precious, adapt to overcome, discipline and demanding excellence.
Rigby began his coaching career as a defensive and offensive line coach at Independence High School in Louisiana in 1991. He was line coach at Northwest Rankin (Miss.) in 1992 and was offensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Mendenhall (Miss.) in 1993 before becoming head coach at Albany.
After his stints at Albany and Loranger, he was offensive line coach at Tabor College in Kansas in 2010 before moving to Holmes Community College where he was the offensive coordinator and was also the school’s head coach soccer for the women’s and men’s programs.
After three years at Holmes, he became offensive coordinator at SWAC-member Jackson State University in Mississippi, a role he served for two years before taking the head coaching job at Tate in Pensacola.