SFU hires new interim head coach

BURNABY BC —- Simon Fraser University Senior Director of Athletics & Recreation Theresa Hanson announced today that Mike Rigell has been named Interim Head Coach of the university’s NCAA football program. Rigell previously served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, special teams coach and receivers coach. Rigell succeeds Thomas Ford, who will be taking a coaching role at an FBS Power 5, NCAA Division 1 program.

“I am really excited to name Coach Rigell as interim head coach of our football program”, said Hanson. “Mike has proven to be passionate about SFU Football and dedicated to providing an outstanding experience for our student-athletes. His strong work ethic, together with his ability to recruit and build relationships will only continue to move our program forward”.

Rigell started his football career as a standout player at FBS NCAA Division 1 program Brigham Young University, winning numerous awards, including Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference Honors and Honorable Mention Media All-Mountain West Conference Honors. Rigell continued his playing career in the Arena Football League, competing for the Utah Warriors, Tri-Cities Fever and Rapid City Aces from 2003-2006.

After a successful playing career, Rigell served as special teams coordinator and running backs/receivers coach at Snow College (2014-16) and the University of Puget Sound (2013-14). He held similar roles at New Mexico Highlands in 2012 and at Idaho State in 2011. Rigell also worked with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs on a Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship.

Rigell holds a Bachelor of Arts and Communications in Broadcast Journalism from BYU and is set to receive a Masters in Special Education and Mental Health Therapy in May.

“I’m feeling extremely blessed right now, blessed to have the opportunity but blessed by the administration, the team, alumni and support staff. I feel like I have a strong crew behind me,” said Rigell. “I feel like our future is bright with a new stadium on the horizon and a great recruiting class coming in. We will have some adjustments to make but we are trending in the right direction. Thomas [Ford] did an outstanding job building the foundation of the program.”

Simon Fraser thanks Ford for his hard work during the past two seasons with the department. Ford led Simon Fraser to its first conference win in four years, and contributed to a positive cultural transformation.

In a statement, Ford said “I want to thank Theresa Hanson and Breanne Watson for their unquestioned support throughout every minute of my time at SFU. To our players, I can never express the gratitude I have for each of you buying into our culture and program. It was a privilege leading the SFU program and I know that the team is in great hands. Coach [Rigell] brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. He cares tremendously about the players and understands all the ins and outs of building a program specifically at SFU. I have no doubts about [Rigell] and know him and his staff will get the job done”.

Defensive Coordinator Taylor Summers has been promoted to associate head coach. Summers has served as SFU’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. In that time period, the Simon Fraser defense has broken records for interceptions in a season (12), yards per game allowed in a season (419.4) and defensive touchdowns in a season (3).

“Our football program is in good hands with coach Rigell and coach Summers,” said Hanson. “The future is bright and we will continue to move the program forward”.


Source: SFU football

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