Bartlesville Athletic Director Spence Rigdon Loses Battle With Cancer

Tuesday, November 5th 2019, 3:08 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

Bartlesville's Athletic Director Spence Rigdon passed away Monday night after fighting colon cancer for years. 

Many people shared that Rigdon had a special connection to this field whether it was coaching or mentoring young athletes, but everyone agreed that his legacy went far beyond baseball. 

"One of the biggest lessons he taught was life is not about the wins and losses, it's about the relationships you build with each other and the impact you leave behind. He definitely made an impact in this community," said Kyle Minton, head softball coach at Bartlesville High School, who also played and coached beside Minton for many years. 

Minton said Rigdon was like a father to him, and helped him learn the true value of being both a coach and teacher for young athletes. 

"It's hard to lose someone like that, but he's the best mentor I could have possibly asked for," Minton said. "He was a selfless leader and I think that's why in the community he was so beloved."

Rigdon graduated from Bartlesville High school in 1991, and taught and coached in the district for nearly two decades.

Minton said he cared more about who his players than winning.

"He wanted to make sure the relationship he had with the players was positive," Minton said.

Superintendent Chuck McCauley said Rigdon will have a lasting legacy as the school board unanimously voted to name the field at Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium to "Rigdon Field," with the new name etched in the grass. McCauley said the field will be ready by the coming Spring. 

"There is no one more deserving of that, being a bruin meant something to Spence," McCauley said. "He is the kind of guy you want to be your neighbor, the kind of guy you want work with, the kind of guy you want your kids to play for. I think that shows in the outpouring of community support that has come during this time."

Minton said he plans to live by Rigdon's example - by also bringing the best out of people.

The funeral is this Nov 9 at 10 a.m. in the Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center. It's open to the public. The district posted a link to a GoFundMe account set up to help the family with expenses. 

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