Interim Head Coach Steve DeRiggs
Steve DeRiggs begins his second season as interim head coach in 2011-2012, coming on the heels of a successful three-year stint as one of the program’s assistant coaches. Last year, DeRiggs led the Messiah Falcons to 25 wins in his first season as head coach, capturing the Commonwealth Conference title.
Messiah’s announced DeRiggs' promotion following the resignation of three-year head coach Bryan Engle in the fall of 2010. DeRiggs will lead the Messiah baseball program on an interim basis.
“Coach DeRiggs will provide excellent leadership to the baseball program during this time of transition,” said Jack Cole, Messiah Director of Athletics. “He has a wealth of experience in athletics and he understands the mission of Messiah College and the athletics department.”
DeRiggs is no stranger to the current state of Falcons’ baseball, as the program has experienced a variety of successes during his tenure as an assistant coach. In his first season in the dugout, Messiah won a program record-tying 28 games and won the 2008 Commonwealth Conference Championship, advancing to the NCAA Division III National Tournament as a result. It was only the third time either occurred in program history.
In his first year under the helm in 2011, DeRiggs took a team that began the season 4-11 and ended up capturing the fourth conference championship in the school's history. The Falcons won 21 of their final 29 games, and finished the year 13-5 in conference play. In the conference tournament, the Falcons swept all three playoff games, earning an invite to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
“I’m here to do a job. I’m here to hopefully continue in the direction that Coach Engle has started, and build off of that foundation. I’m going to be recruiting for the next coach. It’s my goal that this program will be in a very good position when Messiah hires its next head baseball coach", Deriggs said.
DeRiggs has plenty of experience to lean on, as the former Springfield College standout has 22 years of head coaching experience at the high school level. Most of that time was spent in South Carolina, where DeRiggs served as the head baseball coach at three different schools: Hilton Head Island High School (1987-1997), South Aiken High School (1997-2002) and Wagener-Salley High School (2002-2007). During his time at both South Akien and Wagener-Salley, DeRiggs also served as director of athletics. In 2003, he was named the South Carolina Athletics Director of the Year by the South Carolina High School League. Coach Deriggs was selected as Conference Coach of the Year in 2011.
Seven of DeRiggs’ former players have played professionally, most notably Tyler Colvin of the Chicago Cubs — the 13th pick overall in the 2006 Major League Draft. For five years, DeRiggs coached one of the nation’s premier A.A.U. teams — the Diamond Travelers — where five players were drafted.
DeRiggs himself was drafted by the New York Yankees following his collegiate playing career. Originally a pitcher and a shortstop, he later went on to play in the Cape Cod League and in two levels of organized professional ball as a third baseman, but did not sign with an organization.
In 1988, he was brought back into the professional baseball fold, serving five years as a bird-dog scout with the Boston Red Sox — a position that coincided with his tenure at Hilton Head Island.
“Baseball is a passion for me,” DeRiggs said. “I want to make every day better for our guys as students, athletes and young men. I hope I can impart an enthusiasm for life. I enjoy the Messiah mystique and what makes this place so special. I look forward to the challenges that this year will bring, and also the journey.”
DeRiggs graduated cum laude from Springfield College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He is married Ann, his wife of 41 years. The couple has three daughters and three grandsons, and resides in East Berlin.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue to be a part of Messiah baseball,” DeRiggs said. “I’m at the point of my career that I don’t view this as any type of a stepping stone. I simply want to help these young men in any way I can.”