PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Prairie View A&M baseball team began its latest chapter Friday when the school announced it hired Auntwan Riggins as its head baseball coach.
Riggins comes to Prairie View A&M from the Warriors Baseball Academy in Houston, Texas. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Houston’s Proway Baseball Academy as one of its premier instructors and coaches. Both academies train baseball players ages 7 through 18 years old, and can claim numerous players who went on to play NCAA Division I baseball among its alumni.
“I’m very excited to join the Prairie View A&M family,” Riggins said. “It’s almost like the day of the draft for me. You wait and you know they are going to announce at some point; it’s a feeling that you can’t really describe.”
Riggins has provided individual instruction to numerous players who have gone on to successful NCAA Division I careers, some of whom were also drafted professionally. His most recent alumnus to be drafted was Kyle Survance, who played collegiately at the University of Houston; Survance was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the eighth round of the 2015 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft.
“I’m very happy to bring him on as our head coach, and am excited about his vision for the baseball program,” Prairie View A&M Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson said. “He brings a wealth of experience, has a great knowledge of baseball, and can teach the game and its fundamentals.”
Another player Riggins trained was Spencer Dennis, whom Prairie View A&M fans may remember as a key player on the Panthers’ 2007 SWAC championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Riggins is no stranger to the Southwestern Athletic Conference, having played collegiately at Texas Southern, concluding his career at the close of the 1998 season. In two seasons with the Tigers, he hit .364, and knocked 19 doubles, 11 triples, and six home runs. In 1997, he was named the SWAC’s Newcomer of the Year after hitting .341 with five home runs.
At the conclusion of his junior season in 1998, Riggins was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 20th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He reached the AAA level in 2001 while playing with the Portland Beavers in the San Diego Padres organization.
After he retired from professional baseball, Riggins eventually returned to Texas Southern to receive his degree, graduating from the school in 2011.
A native of east Texas and a graduate of Houston’s Madison High School, Riggins looks forward to being part of the Prairie View A&M community.
“I don’t think I’ve ever encountered people who have so much love and passion for their university and alma mater as a whole, than I have seen with the Prairie View A&M community. I was drawn to that,” Riggins said.
The Panthers qualified for the 2015 SWAC Baseball Tournament. Prairie View A&M has won three SWAC championships in the last 10 years, winning the tournament in 2006, 2007, and 2012.
Riggins will be the seventh head coach in Prairie View A&M’s baseball history – which dates back to the 1925 season – and will be the Panthers’ fourth coach since 1970. He and his wife, Deveka, have been married eight years, and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Masyn.