TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida A&M University and the FAMU Department of Athletics celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of one of its favorite daughters on the front steps of Lee Hall. In front of over a hundred friends, colleagues and supporters, head softball coach Veronica Wiggins was honored for reaching a milestone never before achieved.
With an 8-1 victory over the Howard Bison in Puerto Rico over spring break, Wiggins attained her 700th career win. That feat has never been achieved in the NCAA by an HBCU coach. Wiggins’ 25-year career at one institution is commendable itself, as Wiggins was courted by larger schools during her successful career, but chose to remain in the orange and green.
“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. When you have a young lady come to you fresh out of high school, they are sometimes unsure as to what they really want in life. We have come up with a system where they can mature into whatever they want to come. Through softball we are able to teach them how to be victorious in life,” Wiggins said.
FAMU interim president Larry Robinson, Ph.D., was the mind behind the event. “While we were in Norfolk, Va for the MEAC Basketball Championship,we kept an eye on the softball team while we were at a game. Angela Suggs was updating me as it went along. Finally she yelled out ‘she got it.’ That’s when I said we need to do something as soon as we get back,” Robinson said.
FAMU athletic director Milton Overton Jr., was complimentary of the magnitude of Wiggins’ feat. “Two statements come to mind when you speak of coach Wiggins is elite coach and standard bearer. Athletic departments across the country live for coaches who are elite. By elite, I mean she and her team every single year are a threat to win a championship. And, when I say standard bearer, I mean someone who is not afraid to be the first. She has been first in so many things over her career, like the first MEAC team to win 12 conference titles. We appreciate you coach as you embody the true meaning of ‘Building Champions.’ Additionally, we want to thank you for all of the young ladies you have brought to this institution that have gone on to graduate and affect the nation,” Overton said.
Vaughn Wilson, Director of Rattler Productions, announced that the FAMU Department of Athletics is producing a magazine in Wiggins’ honor. Titled “700 and counting…,” the magazine will chronicle the amazing journey of the record-breaking coach. It begins with her journey from Miami to Tallahassee. It will also include pieces on several of the amazing young ladies who have matriculated through the softball program under Wiggins. Details for he actual release date will be available int he month of April.
A pre-game ceremony to honor Wiggins will take place at the next FAMU home softball game on Mar. 25 at 12:45pm, preceding the North Carolina Central university softball game at the Lady Rattler Softball Complex.