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
    • UPDATED: Hugh Freeze's Day At ESPN Car Wash

      Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Football

      UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman Show... read more

    • Freeze Visits ESPN Headquarters Monday

      Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Football

      All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss At SEC Media Days

      Friday, July 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more

    • Rebels Raise Expectations Entering Year Three

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more

    • Healthy, Confident Wallace Eyes Atlanta

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more

    • Freeze Meets With Local Media At Media Days

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 3 Of SEC Media Days

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 2 Of SEC Media Days

      Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more

    • Ole Miss In CFB 24/7 14 For '14 Series

      Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Football

      NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 1 Of SEC Media Days

      Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more

    • Cozart Named Best Defensive SS Of First Half

      Sunday, July 13, 2014 - Baseball

      Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Baseball Postseason

      Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more

    • Ole Miss Preps For SEC Media Days

      Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - Football

      Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more

    • Ole Miss And The World Cup

      Thursday, July 3, 2014 - Athletics

      The United States' run in the 2014 World Cup came to an end with a 2-1 extra-time loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. For many fans, it's also the end of the road, but for a few Ole... read more

    • Kennedy Talks Staff, Roster On Teleconference

      Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy talks about the addition of assistant coach Tony Madlock and the new-look roster for the upcoming season, among other topics, on the SEC Summer Men's Basketball Coaches Media Teleconference Monday. Here are the highlights:Ole... read more