BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (KJRH) – An Oklahoma community is rallying around a beloved athletic director as he battles cancer.
Three and a half years ago, Spence Rigdon, Athletic Director for Bartlesville Public Schools, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.
KJRH reports Rigdon has undergone several surgeries and extensive treatment, and will be transitioning to hospice care.
“He’s one of the special ones,” said Terry Hughes, BPS assistant athletic director. “He becomes a part of your family.”
Rigdon was born in Bartlesville and graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1991. He then attended Kansas City Community College and graduated from Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he played baseball.
Rigdon began his career as the head baseball coach in Marysville, Kansas in 1996 while also coaching junior-level football and basketball. He later returned to Bartlesville to coach junior high football, basketball and freshman baseball.
In 2001, he began coaching varsity football and was named the varsity assistant coach in baseball in 2004 before becoming head coach.
He served as a district varsity baseball coach for 13 years, and became the Director of Athletics and Activities in June of 2018.
On Monday night, the Bartlesville Board of Education voted to name the field at Doenges Memorial Stadium to “Rigdon Field.”
“Spence’s legacy is always going to be directly tied to the people and how he was related to them,” Hughes said. “He always sought out what was best for everybody. And when he found that he was very adamant about you doing that, not because it was his idea, because he thought you could impact other people. The big outcome of all that is going to be that Spence was somebody special in their lives that have helped them towards whatever goals they wanted to get to.”
A GoFundMe has been created to help the family.
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