Wiggins Era Opens At Ole Miss With First Official Practice

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Adrian Wiggins (Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Head coach Adrian Wiggins (Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 1, 2012

Written By: Sarah Harden, Media Relations Student Intern

The Ole Miss women’s basketball team officially opened practice today for the 2012-13 season, holding a two-hour practice at the BPF. First-year head coach Adrian Wiggins’ team is led by All-SEC honoree, junior Valencia McFarland, and seniors Courtney Marbra and Maggie McFerrin.

The Rebels return three starters and eight letterwinners from a year ago. The team welcomes four newcomers this year, including All-American Kay Caples, the 2012 National Junior College Player of the Year.

Teams can start practice 40 days before their first game and are allowed 30 practices during that time. Ole Miss’ first game of the 2012-13 season is a 5:30 p.m. tip against SELA on November 9. Click here for ticket information. 

OXFORD, Miss. – Adrian Wiggins is looking forward to the opportunities his first season as the head coach of the Ole Miss women’s basketball team has provided.

He spent ten years with the Fresno State Bulldogs women’s basketball program, including seven years as head coach, in which he led the Bulldogs to five straight NCAA appearances and four Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament titles. Wiggins also recorded a program-best 28 wins during the 2011-2012 season and was the only coach in the program’s history to not have a losing season.

Wiggins said he has noticed many similarities between Fresno State and Ole Miss that he hopes will allow him to build another successful program.

“At Fresno, it was a matter of timing,” he said. “We were able to start that program and spend a lot of time there. I had ten total years, and I would hope in ten years here at Ole Miss that we could do similar things. Consistency is a big part of success, and that’s what ten years gave us at Fresno State. We’re building a new arena here, which is what we did in Fresno. Our fan base is down, and we were able to build a fan base at Fresno and we can do that here as well. The players were very hungry to win there, and they’re hungry to win here. There are a lot of similarities that make it exciting for me.”

One of the first points Wiggins has stressed since being hired in March is his academic expectations for his players. All players are required to meet a minimum grade point average to be eligible for play, and any player who falls short of those requirements will be placed on probation and will complete a set amount of study hours each week.

“I was the first person in my family to go to college and get a degree, and I went to school to be a teacher,” he said. “I taught high school in the classroom for three years, so it is important. Teaching is what I wanted to do. Basketball has just led me to this level and gotten me outside of the classroom, but I kind of still get to be in the classroom with our students. It’s very important to me that they learn to try and that every student tries to be better than they were the last grade, the last test, and the last class. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the grade, but also about the coping skills that they acquire that will allow them to go on in life and be a good citizen who can ultimately change the world and make it a better place.”

Wiggins said his motto is, “Be better every day.”

“I have a unique perspective, because I get to see the girls every day and work with them every day, and I truly believe that they are better than they have been playing,” he said. “I want to get them to a point where hard work comes naturally and winning feels natural.”

In addition to the opportunities coaching has provided, Wiggins said Oxford has also been an exciting, new experience for his family.

“Honestly, you hear this all the time, but we really do love Oxford,” he said. “It’s a neat town to live in. It has its culture, it has its art, it has its sports, and it embraces the university, so for me, when you combine the academics with the sports, that’s all I need in a town. Our family really likes it. The school system has been great for our kids. They’re very involved in the sports programs here in Oxford, so it’s been an easy transition for us.”

The most interesting thing about Wiggins’ position transition from teacher to head basketball coach is that he almost did not become either one.

“I played college baseball, but I always found myself going to basketball practices,” he said. “I really loved the sport. When I was in graduate school to be a psychologist, I kept going over to the basketball practice and sitting there and watching the team practice. I just realized that it was what I wanted to do. So I went back to school and got my teaching endorsement and started coaching high school boys’ basketball, and it’s led me to here, and it’s been a great experience. I truly do not need an alarm to get up every day.

“At the end of the day, it’s a great school, it’s a great conference, it’s a wonderful town to live in, and we just need to spend some time working on basketball the way our system likes to run it, and hopefully we can have some success,” he said.

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss, MSU Renew Rivalry on Hardwood

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss meets Mississippi State on the hardwood the for 250th time Wednesday, which makes it the most-played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference.  Like the rivalry in football, where the road team last won in 2010, the home team has... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26, 2015)

      Monday, January 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 25

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more

    • Prewitt Caps Impressive Week at Senior Bowl

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Football

      Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more

    • VIDEO: Home is Ole Miss

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football: Home is Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Omaha Challenge

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Challenge 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rivalry Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more

    • Prewitt, Golson Impress at Senior Bowl Practices

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Football

       Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 13-19, 2015)

      Monday, January 19, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 18

      Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more

    • Key Stretch Starts with Tough Test in LSU

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more

    • Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 6-12, 2015)

      Monday, January 12, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 11

      Sunday, January 11, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more

    • Rebels to Open SEC Play ' in Grand Fashion'

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more