Milford legend Roy Rigby to be inducted into Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame

MILFORD — Roy Rigby’s time has finally come.

The former standout wrestler and state championship coach will be inducted into the Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 8. He’s one of four inductees for the 2016 class, joining Buddy Lloyd, Henry Milligan and wrestling official Edward Janvier.

Mr. Rigby will be inducted for his accomplishments both as a wrestler and as a coach. He is a two-time State champion and four-time Conference champion as a player, and a two-time State champion and three-time Coach of the Year winner in his four years of coaching at Milford High School from 1978-81.

His first year as head coach, Milford’s program didn’t accomplish too much as a team. But his second year ended with a conference title.

His third and fourth years each ended with state titles.

As impressive as his coaching accolades appear to be, his résumé as a wrestler could be even more impressive. In his own four years of varsity wrestling while attending Caesar Rodney High School, Mr. Rigby only lost one match.

Gary Downes, a former Milford wrestler and member of Mr. Rigby’s 1980 and 1981 state championship teams, will be in attendance for his former coach’s hall of fame induction and will say a few words on Mr. Rigby’s behalf prior to the event.

“He’s really had a big influence on my life,” Mr. Downes said. “[Through] his coaching style, we learned a lot of great life skills, discipline, hard work and the importance of being highly motivated; a lot of things that apply to the real world.”

The two have stayed close over the years and even attend Milford wrestling and state tournament matches together.

Mr. Rigby’s winning attitude could be largely attributed to much of his on-mat and coaching success over the years.

“I had to win; it didn’t make any difference where I went,” he said. “I always tried to win and that’s what I always tried to tell my teams. When you go out there on that mat, you win. You don’t lose. You win.”

Although he’s being inducted into the hall of fame as an individual, Mr. Rigby firmly believes his teams are the reason he’s being inducted.

“When you have a team in 1980 that has six conference champs and you come back in 1981 and have seven conference champs with six state champs, that’s saying a lot about the team,” he said.

Passion is a must for staying in the business as long as a local icon such as Mr. Rigby whose passion is evident with his continued involvement in sports.

He’s coached the Milford Little Bucs for 30 years. He has built a youth wrestling program and maintained success, grooming wrestlers from a young age and turning them into successful wrestlers once they reach the high school level at MHS.

One of the big lessons he instilled in his players is not to blame anyone else but yourself after losing a match.

“That’s the one thing that, if you ever watched our team wrestle, we were the most dedicated team in the state of Delaware,” he said. “These guys, when they wrestle, they wouldn’t sit around looking at the ref. Whether it was a bad call or not, they couldn’t do it. Simply because I would never let them.”

Through the Little Bucs wrestling program, Mr. Rigby continues to set Milford High School up for success, as the state championship wrestlers over the years have all gone through his program.

To top off his accomplishments, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford recently honored Mr. Rigby as Citizen of the Year.

The 11th annual induction ceremony and banquet, which is set to take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, will be held at Timothy’s on the Riverfront in Wilmington.

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