Keith Riggs Strives to Uphold Trimble’s Legacy

Jenks District Gazette Sports Writer

STRATEGIC MENTOR: New Trojans’ Head Coach Keith Riggs works with a player during practice while serving as an assistant coach. Riggs is now the head coach after being approved by the Jenks school board to replace Allan Trimble in May. 

Courtesy photo 

Jenks will be led by a new coach when it opens the 2018 football season. One thing for certain, fans won’t see anything new.

“Our offense and defense packages are designed to adjust with the strengths of our kids and we’ve certainly been successful over the years with them,” says Keith Riggs, who was hired in May to replace the legendary Allan Trimble, who retired one month earlier. “So, I don’t see the need to make too many changes there.”

That means plenty of fireworks on offense, and stingy defenses will remain in place. 
Riggs, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach, joined the Jenks coaching staff in 2003. He never envisioned that one day he would be taking the head position.

“I never really even imagined until maybe a little over a year ago, I just thought I would coach for Coach Trimble until we both retired and might have retired before him. But, with his diagnosis and as the disease progressed slowly, it started to cross my mind that the day he retires may be sooner than later. It was really the first time thought about it.”

Trimble, who coached the Trojans for 22 seasons, was diagnosed with in 2016. He coached two more seasons before stepping down in April.

Riggs sees the task of leading the Jenks football program as a great opportunity.

“I’m so thankful that our administration had the confidence in me to fill this role,” he says. “It’s a little bittersweet, the circumstances with Coach Trimble’s diagnosis of . He’s been such a dear friend to me and meant so much to me, he’s mentored me these last 15 years as a coach and a person. I hate the circumstances for him, but I’m thankful for a chance to carry on what he has done.”

Keeping the Trojans on the path to their winning ways, Riggs says, starts with the culture Trimble developed.

“Things like putting the team first, hard work, having a great work ethic,” he adds. “He has developed a culture here. He has ingrained it so much that people really don’t even think about it. It’s been around so long. So, continuing with that culture of excellence that coach Trimble has developed and that our school district strives for, our vision is a tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow and I think the football programs embodies that, at least Coach Trimble has and we’re going to try to carry that on.”

“There certainly won’t be too many surprises,” Riggs says. “Having been here for 15 years and the responsibilities Coach Trimble has allowed me to take on all these years. The parents are unbelievable, our booster club, our administration, our school, our community, they’re just all such a big important part of our program. Having been a big part of that all these years will make the transition a little easier.”

Nevertheless, Riggs said Trimble will definitely be missed and is hopeful of the continued presence of his mentor.

“He mentioned it in his retirement announcement, he would still like to be part of the program and I’d certainly more than welcome that,” Riggs says. “He adds value just being in the room with you and just being around the program, he’ll make us better and so we’ll take all the help we can get from coach.

“It’s hard to put into words the great example as a role model for coaches and players, his wisdom that he has over the years, his humility, in spite of all the success he has, just so many great qualities that he displays that you want to emulate as a fellow coach,” Riggs adds.

Updated 07-24-2018

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