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Hall of Fame head coach honored for 700th win

By Robert Rimpson
On March 24, 2017

 

 

Florida A&M University held a news conference on March 15 to honor and celebrate head coach of the FAMU softball team Veronica Wiggins after she became the first HBCU Division I head coach to reach 700 wins.

In front of a small crowd made up by a few media members, fellow FAMU athletic staff, her team, and her husband, a humbled Wiggins stood left of the podium as one of the members of her team spoke a few words about her.

“She’s a role model, she’s a legendary role model to all of us, we all look up to her,” said Senior Catcher Denise Anderson while she was on the podium. “She challenges us all the time to grow and to mature into the young women that she knows we can be.”

Anderson went on to say how she is grateful for everything Wiggins has done for her and the entire team, saying that none of them would be who they are today without her.

For someone who is, in her own words “very seldom speechless,” Wiggins seemed quiet and humbled as she soaked in all the praise she received from her team and University President Larry Robinson, who also went to the podium to speak about Wiggins.

“Anybody who’s spent half of their career winning a championship in any division, in any sport, (deserves) to be in somebody’s hall of fame, (but) we’ve already done that for Ms. Wiggins,” said President Robinson.

President Robinson was talking of course about Wiggins leading FAMU to 12 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships in her 26-year tenure as head coach.

Even as she took the podium for the first time that evening, Wiggins remained humble, giving credit first to her creator.

“I give God all the glory and the honor, that’s how I lead my team. I keep Him first in my life and also in the team,” Wiggins said. “Without Him I would not have had the administration that was supportive…to help us do the things that we do. Without him I wouldn’t have the assistant coaches.”

Wiggins went on to credit her assistant coaches, who fueled the team with their youth, energy, and experience. But Wiggins gave a lot of the credit to her team, for buying into her philosophy of putting FAMU before themselves.

“They buy in,” said Wiggins. “I instill FAMU (in them). This is not about them, and they know it, it is about the university. They know what they’re there for, we play and we represent the university.”

After Wiggins thanked everyone for supporting her and coming to the event, she received a commemorative plaque for her 700 wins and her loyalty to FAMU.

Wiggin’s love for FAMU was summed up with her final words as she left the podium, “Everybody will tell you, I bleed orange and green!” 

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