Justin Riggs became the Blue Dragons’ head cross country coach in May 2015. He is just the fifth men’s head coach and only the fourth women’s head coach in program history.
Riggs is no stranger to Blue Dragon cross country after serving three years as the assistant coach with both the Blue Dragon cross country and track teams. Riggs is a former Blue Dragon runner.
Riggs’ fourth season will always be a memorable one as the Blue Dragons swept Jayhawk West team championships, the men captured a Region VI championship and freshman Andrew Kibet became the first Blue Dragon in program history to win the NJCAA Individual Cross Country championship.
Riggs was named the Region VI Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year and Kibet was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Central District Male Athlete of the Year.
Riggs’ men’s team was four team championships and the women’s team had one team title.
Riggs’ 2018 teams had five All-Americans. In addition to Kibet, Sylvetre Kibarar and Brett Hillabrand were men’s All-Americans, while Gabby Collins and Sarah Patteson were women’s All-Americans.
Both 2017 teams were in the NJCAA national rankings all season – the men’s team finishing at No. 10 and women’s team at No. 13 in the final rankings.
Riggs’ 2017 women’s team had a third-place Region VI finish, the program’s highest in four seasons. The men finished third in the Jayhawk West and sixth in the region.
During track and field season as an assistant, Riggs coached the middle and long-distance runners. In the last four years, he has coached 15 Jayhawk Conference top 3 finishes – including one region champion in the women’s 10,000 meters – 12 national qualifying performances, 22 of the school’s Top 10 List performers, and three top-eight national finishes in the women’s steeplechase and men’s 10,000 meters. He also assisted the men’s track team in winning the Outdoor Region VI Title and a fourth-place national finish in 2013.
As a former Blue Dragon athlete, Riggs was one of the top runners of legendary coach Terry Masterson’s cross country squad during the 2007 cross country season, finishing the season with All-Conference, All-Region and Academic All-American honors.
Riggs was also a multiple event national qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, 10,000 meter run, and 4x800 meter relay in the 2007 and 2008 track and field seasons. Riggs earned All-America honors as a member of the 4x800 meter relay team that ran – at that time – the ninth fastest time in school history of 7:49.45.
In addition to coaching, he also teaches GED and Essential Principles of Mathematics classes at Hutchinson Community College.
Riggs graduated from Kansas State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree and is currently working on his master’s degree in sports management from Missouri Baptist University. Riggs has USATF Level 1 coaching certification.
He lives in Hutchinson with his wife Darcie and twin children, Atlas and Iris.