GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro Director
of Athletics Nelson E. Bobb announced Tuesday that the University
will honor Rita Wiggs and place her number in the rafters of
Fleming Gym among the University’s honored jerseys this
The festivities will take place at halftime of Saturday’s 3 pm women’s basketball game between UNCG and Elon. It will be a part of UNCG’s Women’s Weekend gathering, reuniting all of the University’s female athletic alumnae.
“Given the magnitude of her accomplishments at a time when women's athletics didn’t receive its due recognition on many campuses, it is fitting that during this very special weekend, we recognize the sustained accomplishments of Rita,” said Bobb. “She led the Spartans for four years when there was little if any recognition for the quality of her performances. Honoring her No. 33 in the rafters of Fleming says thanks.”
Wiggs, who now serves as Commissioner of the USA South Conference, was a four-year starter for the Spartans from 1971-75. She was a vital part of the Spartans’ 1972 state championship team that advanced to the AIAW Regional Tournament. During her time with the Spartans, UNCG earned wins over NC State (UNCG’s only win over the Wolfpack in 13 meetings), Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and South Carolina. In her four seasons at UNCG, the Spartans were 48-26.
Wiggs twice earned all-state honors, being named to the squad as a junior and a senior. She led the state of North Carolina in scoring as a senior, averaging 22 points per game. She held the school’s career scoring record for a decade after her graduation, finishing with 1,347 points. Today, she still sits sixth all-time on the UNCG career scoring list. She is the only player in school history to lead the Spartans’ in scoring all four seasons. Her career average of 18.45 ppg is still tops all-time of any UNCG player, male or female.
A 1975 graduate of UNCG and a bachelor’s degree in physical education, she participated in the 1973 World University Games training camp and was on a USA Regional All-Star team in 1974 that competed against the USSR National squad. Wiggs went on to serve as an assistant coach at NC State for five years, from which she also earned a master’s degree in education, and as a head coach at Methodist College for 13 years before moving into athletic administration. Wiggs served as Director of Athletics at Methodist University for seven years and President of the Dixie Conference in 1997-98. She has served as USA South’s Commissioner for the past eight years, seven of which have been in a full-time capacity.
Wiggs, a resident of Fayetteville, NC, was inducted into the UNCG Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the Charter Class in 2000. Her No. 33 will be hung in the rafters along with the honored numbers of the six seniors from the class of 1996 – Scott Hartzell, Brian Brunson, Jonathan Clifton, Skeet Woolard, Eric Cuthrell, Gary Mearite – who took the Spartans to their first NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
- UNCG -