By Quinton Bagley
Little River News
After 28 years, Lance Spigner, a 1985 Ashdown High School graduate, is stepping down as the head baseball coach at Horatio High School at the end of the season to take on a new opportunity – head baseball coach for the University of Arkansas-Rich Mountain (UARM) in Mena.
UARM is a member of the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) and a member of the NJCAA Region 2 which includes Arkansas and Oklahoma. The Bucks, members of the will field its first team in the 2020-21 school year.
“The athletic director at UARM and I knew each other previously,” Spigner said. “I am honored that he and the chancellor thought of me when looking for someone to start the baseball program.”
Spigner, who has a current career record at Horatio of 553-230, said that moving to the collegiate level was never a major goal for him but something he considered doing once he retired from Horatio.
“I would have been perfectly happy coaching my whole career at the high school level,” Spigner said. “I’ve never been interested in climbing the career ladder. But I also thought it would be cool to move to college after I retired from high school baseball.”
Spigner said the decision to leave Horatio was not an easy one.
“It was probably the most difficult decision I’ve ever made,” Spigner said. “I love the town, my school and my co-workers, and the players in our program, both present and past. I’ve spent over half my life working at HHS and it will always be a part of me.”
After graduating from AHS, Spigner walked on at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway where he was a four-year letterman and All-Conference player for the Bears.
He was hired as the head baseball coach in Horatio in 1991 and became the school’s athletic director in 1999. In the summer of 2002, Spigner served as an envoy for Major League Baseball to Great Britain. He was the 2002-03 Horatio High School Teacher of the year. On three occasions (2000, 2007 and 2015) he has been named the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports Region 6 Coach of the Year. Five times (1997, 2005, 2007, 2015 and 2016) he was named the Texarkana Gazette’s Southwest Arkansas/Northeast Texas High School Baseball Coach of the Year. In 28 years he has had numerous selections as Conference Coach of the Year, AHSBCA All-Star Coach, AAA All-Star Coach and Xtra Innings Summer Class Coach. During his tenure at Horatio, the Lions have won 17 conference/district championships (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), been regional tournament champions 10 times (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 (co-champs), 2012, 2016 and 2018), made the state tournament Final Four 13 times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018) and won five state championships (1997, 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2016).
Spigner is the son of Bink and Daisy Dean Spigner of Ashdown, Ark.