Former Sun Prairie cross country and track and field coach Stephen Riggins was killed in a two-vehicle crash Friday, Jan. 10 in Columbia County. He was 66.

According to the Columbia Co. Sheriff Roger Brandner, the crash in Dekorra Township occurred at the intersection of County Highway CS and County Highway V at 9:20 a.m. He said a 2016 International Alliant Energy utility truck failed to stop at the stop sign and hit a 2008 Chevy Impala, killing Riggins who lived in the Poynette area.

Riggins coached cross country and track and field for 24 years at Sun Prairie before retiring in 2008.

Riggins’ cross country coaching career at SPHS began in 1984 after Bill Jabs stepped down from that position to devote more time to his other two positions as head girls basketball coach and head girls track coach. Also a track coach, Riggins preferred cross country of the two.

“I still maintain that cross country is still the ultimate team sport,” Riggins told The Star at the time of his retirement from coaching. “It asks a lot of you physically and mentally unlike other sports where you have a bench and those kind of things. You really can’t hide your deficiencies. That’s where that old cross country adage comes in that you’re only as good as your fifth runner.”

Riggins led the Cardinals to Big Eight Conference championships, in 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Funeral visitation will take place from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Sun Prairie United Methodist Church, 702 North St., with the funeral service to follow at 11 a.m. at the church.

Reactions to Riggins’ passing will appear in Friday’s Star edition.

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