2019 Athletics Hall of Fame: Natalie Wigginton

2019 Athletics Hall of Fame: Natalie Wigginton


I knew I wanted to stay close to home
before I went away to college, so Moraine was always on my list. I was recruited to
play softball by Tom Seidel and Rosie Geraci, who was the last year’s former
hall-of-famer. And then Gloria Coughlin recruited me for volleyball, and that
is how I ended up at Moraine, playing volleyball and softball. When I was
playing volleyball at Moraine, Gloria Coughlin was my volleyball coach, and we
were one of the first teams to play overseas in Ireland. So, that was quite
amazing. It was a trip of a lifetime. It was different to see the types of
playing styles from different countries. We had team parties with all the
different players from the different countries. We were sightseeing, and it was
just an amazing experience. One thing that stands out when I played volleyball
and softball where the coaching staff. They really helped me become the best I
could be here and progress my playing abilities in order for me to play at the
next collegiate level. One thing that I’m really proud of playing at Moraine was being a
national Player of the Week in volleyball and being an All-American in
volleyball. I really trained hours on end individually outside of team practice,
and just knowing that all my hard work and hours and hours of practicing really
paid off. I built great relationships with the
athletic director Bill Finn and the volleyball Coach Gloria Coughlin, and I
would come and visit them all the time after I graduated from Moraine, and
Bill Finn then told me that the previous softball coach had stepped down and
asked if I was up to being the assistant softball coach for Moraine, and I was more
than happy to. Being a softball coach at Moraine, I really enjoyed seeing when
girls first got here and they’re playing abilities and then
after hours and hours of 6 a.m. practices, seeing them progress their
abilities and then making those plays on the field where they weren’t able to in
the beginning of the season was a really good highlight for me as a softball
coach, just knowing that I made a
difference in how they play. Before every game, I read a quote to them about how
one day this won’t be your life anymore because I wanted them to play with their
hearts and give it all they got just so in the long run they won’t look back and
say, I just played. I wanted them to know that they gave it their all on and off
the field. When I got the call saying that I was going to be inducted into the
Athletic Hall of Fame, I was completely in shock, and I think I was like, “What, how
did that happen?” But, yeah, I couldn’t believe it, and I almost I started crying
because all my hard work for years just finally paid off. [music playing]

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