Stephen Riggins

Former Sun Prairie cross country and track and field coach Stephen Riggins was killed in a two-vehicle crash Friday 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.

(5) comments


So very sorry for your loss. Heart breaking that we can be going about our day and stopped in our tracks from somebodies carelessness,


We have a daughter with special needs who was a fast runner. Steve treated her just like every other member of the team. We will always be grateful for his helping her to be a "regular kid" as she put it. He was a good man.


Steve was a valued member of our Sunshine Supper Committee, always smiling and such a positive attitude. To Deb and family, my deepest condolences and my prayers are with you.

God speed Steve......

Steve Stocker

Colleen Keyes Zawikowski

Steve Riggins was a longtime good friend of our family, as was Carrie and John and Mr. and Mrs. Riggins. We are heart fully sorry and send our love and sympathy to all of Steve’s family. We will remember him as he was, always kind, humorous and thoughtful.


Mr. Riggins was an outstanding, dedicated teacher at SPHS. Both of my children took AP history from him and he was able to reach all kinds of students. When I texted them, they both wanted to reach out to the family to tell them how much he meant to them. I am so grateful for him, his life and his legacy, and so very sad for his wife and children. This is a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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