Coach reaches 500-win milestone

Veronica Wiggins was so passionate about coaching that she made her way to to the forefront of the Softball Program at Florida A&M University and a place in the record books.

Over 20 years ago, Veronica Wiggins returned to Florida A&M University to get her bachelors and masters degrees.

Eighteen years later she has officially reached the benchmark of 500 career wins as the Lady Rattlers softball team’s head coach.

“It’s not about the wins for me, it’s the amount of wins for the athletes that come out and put out the time,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins, a graduate of FAMU, came back to ‘The Hill’ after 13 years with plans of furthering her education with a master’s degree.

Wiggins immediately began volunteering with the softball team. She was then promoted to assistant coach. Since Wiggins became the head coach, she hasn’t looked back.

Lori Goodart, a second year assistant softball coach, said working with somebody that loves the sport is great.

“She is where I want to be in my career,” Goodart said. “It’s an inspiration to see and an honor to work for someone who has achieved as much as she has.”

Wiggins reached 500 career wins on March 19 with two victories against Savannah State, 8-0, and 7-4, at the Lady Rattler Softball Complex.

Goodart said the softball team worked hard to win.

“The girls all knew that win was her 500th and they wanted to be the group to do it for her,” she said.

Amanda Reyes pitched her first no hitter en-route to Wiggins history. Wiggins said she is modest when it comes to the game.

“They [players] deserve the credit more than I do,” Wiggins said. “They actually put in the time and work.”

Wiggins said she is happy with the accomplishment of winning 500 games, but she’s more pleased with the success her players have had after softball.

“It made me think about how many ladies came through and made it successful,” Wiggins said. “I have coached lawyers, engineers, and teachers.”

Those same former players let her know how proud they were of her.

“I got emails and phone calls,” she said.  “They keep up with the program and they all congratulated me,” she said.

According to the Rattler Sports Web site, Wiggins has become the third FAMU head coach this school year to reach a coaching milestone. Although Wiggins has eclipsed a milestone she still said there is work to do.  The team (9-24) is still competing to win the conference.

“We still have to continue to play a completive schedule and be Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins still has goals she wants to reach as a coach that she is still working towards.

“I want FAMU to be the first HBCU to enter the higher level of making it to the World Series,” Wiggins said.

Goodart said she is thankful to be a part of the history made by Wiggins.

“It’s a good reminder that FAMU wins and will continue to win,” Goodart said.

Next up for Wiggins and her softball team is the MEAC Softball Tournament in Ormond Beach and the College World Series.