Friday, March 17, 2017

Rattlers celebrate historic win and record-breaking coach

By Brian Lucas
Florida A&M University

Fans and supporters of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Softball Team gathered on the steps of Lee Hall Wednesday to celebrate the accomplishments of legendary Coach Veronica Wiggins.

Now in her 26th season as the team’s coach, Wiggins earned her 700th victory during the Puerto Rico Classic Softball Tournament this past weekend. The latest victory places Wiggins in uncharted territory. She is now the first historically Black college or university Division I coach to reach 700 wins.

The program, which included remarks from Interim President Larry Robinson and Athletic Director Milton Overton, was a prelude to a formal recognition event scheduled for March 25 just prior to the team’s 1 p.m. home game against the Eagles of North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

A native of Miami and FAMU alumna, Wiggins has led the Rattlers to 12 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships and is ranked 44th on the NCAA’s career coaching wins list for active coaches.

“I’m honored to be here and achieve what we’ve achieved here at the school I love (FAMU). I really do bleed orange and green.  This is all about the young ladies who have come through here for an education.  The victories are nice, but the 13 doctors and eight lawyers and so many other successful people we’ve produced, and all my ‘grandchildren’ – that’s what makes it worthwhile,” Wiggins said.

After congratulating Wiggins in front of the crowd, Robinson described the coach as a standard bearer of excellence.

“Anybody who can spend half of their career winning a championship in any division and in any sport needs to be in somebody’s Hall of Fame and we’ve already done that (for Coach Wiggins) here at Florida A&M University several years ago,” Robinson said. “Beyond winning games is the impact she has had on the lives of hundreds of young women who have come to this institution to play this sport.”

Vaughn Wilson contributed to this story.

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