Griggs Retires from Coker

For more information, contact Christian Stryker - 843.383.8068

HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Tim Griggs, who has helped develop Coker College athletics into a proud member of NCAA Division II and has served as a faculty member at the college for more than 30 years, has announced he is hanging up all the many hats he wore during his tenure with the institution.

Griggs will retire from the college he loved and served at for more than three decades as a teacher, coach, athletics director and ambassador for the Coker community.

“I’ve always believed in the community atmosphere we developed, both within the campus itself and the surrounding Hartsville community,” Griggs said.  “With that as your foundation, you can’t help but develop hundreds of meaningful relationships that make service as a teacher, coach and administrator so rewarding.”

Griggs leaves a legacy of commitment to the student-athlete experience and of advancing the values of the campus.  Hired in 1980 to coach the start-up men’s soccer program, Griggs assembled about 20 ambitious but inexperienced players into a winning squad and maintained that tradition throughout the program’s transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II.

He also took on coaching duties for the women’s team that began in 1988, all the while maintaining his love for teaching as an associate professor of physical education.

Griggs was appointed as the director of athletics at the start of the 1994-95 academic year.  He maintained soccer coaching duties that year but relinquished the reins of the men’s squad in 1995 and the women’s team four years later.

“It’s very difficult to be an AD in Division II and still coach one or more teams,” said the man who was honored as a regional and conference coach of the year in 1993 and 1994.  “Something’s got to give, and the AD position is not going to give.  What happens is that the time crunch affects recruiting, and that’s when it’s time to get out of coaching.”

Griggs may have left coaching, but he never abandoned the idea of providing students and student-athletes the best possible collegiate experience.  Known for his ability to organize and administer efficiently as an athletics director, Coker’s athletics program prospered under Griggs for 15 years.

He also brought exposure to the college through his service in the Division II governance structure.  Griggs was an influential member of the Division II Management Council – the division’s highest administrator-level policy body – from 2005 through 2009.  He also served on regional advisory committees for NCAA women’s soccer and softball championships and was a member of the Division II Nominating Committee.

Among Griggs’ more unique experiences was in 1994 when he worked with the World Cup.  Griggs assisted Hank Steinbrecher, the secretary-general of the United States Soccer Federation, and, as Griggs said, “met more dignitaries than you could shake a stick at,” including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Griggs earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and business administration at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in 1977 and obtained a master’s degree in physical education from Appalachian State two years later.  He was a graduate assistant soccer coach at Appalachian State under Steinbrecher for a year before taking the head coaching job at Coker.

Thirty years later, Griggs is proud of the way athletics have evolved at the college.

“We did the best we could with the resources we had and developed good teams for our players to belong to,” he said.  “That’s what it’s all about.  If student-athletes are happy when they go back to their dormitories, it’s a great thing, you know what I mean?  Win or lose, if they’re happy and you’ve treated them well, it’s all right.”

While he is retiring, Griggs said he will remain active with his family business, which includes a cattle ranch, row-crop farming, operating a restaurant and convenience store, and managing real estate in the Hartsville area.

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Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

 
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