Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum hosted the school’s 2015-16 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion coaches at a special reception held in the FAMU President’s Home Tuesday evening.
“We’re extremely proud of what you have been able to accomplish this year in the classroom. We are especially proud of the teams who were able to win championships in the MEAC and this is my way of showing my appreciation,” Mangum said.
Honored during the festive occasion were Darlene Moore, head women’s cross country and track and field coach, Veronica Wiggins, head women’s softball coach and Brandi Tatum, head coach of the FAMU cheerleading squad. All of their assistant coaches were recognized as well.
Wiggins, who just completed her 25th season as FAMU head softball coach, was named the MEAC Softball Tournament’s Outstanding Coach after steering her sluggers to a three-peat at the MEAC Tournament in May, capturing the school’s league-leading 12th championship. The veteran coach, assisted by Constance Orr and Vashion Johnson also led the team to its tenth trip to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
Tatum and Assistant Coach Felicia Barnes guided the FAMU co-ed cheerleading squad to a repeat of its MEAC Championship in March. The team won three awards in all, including “Best All Around and Individual medalist honors.
Overton took the opportunity to drive home the department’s mission statement.
“Our mission is simple…Building Champions in the classroom, on the field and in life. That’s what we stand behind each and every day,” he said.
Also garnering special recognition were the FAMU women’s sports teams (basketball, bowling, cross country, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, and volleyball), which brought home the 2015-16 Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Trophy, signifying the top women’s program in the MEAC (shared with Bethune-Cookman University).
Academic achievements also drew much praise at the event. Men’s basketball Head Coach Byron Samuels drew a big ovation for his announcing that his team had eclipsed the NCAA standard and were no longer on post season ban. Baseball Head Coach Jamey Shouppe thanked Mangum and Overton for supporting the program.