Pictured: Santa Fe Shortstop #1 Jevin Relaford. Photographed by Tyler Acosta-Lightburn

Johnny Wiggs Wins 500th Game

Santa Fe Saints head baseball coach Johnny Wiggs picked up his 500th career win Monday.

His Saints defeated Daytona State College 6-1 in convincing fashion to eclipse the milestone. Wiggs is in his 16th season at the college and is in the middle of an unprecedented run of success, winning nearly 70% of his games.

Under Wiggs, the Saints have reached six straight FCSAA tournaments and 11 total. They have won two FCSAA state championships and even reached the final of the JUCO World Series during his tenure.

Wiggs also has a great track record of moving players to the next levels after they play for him. He has sent 145 players to four-year colleges and seven players directly to the MLB Draft, three of which went in the first five rounds.

The legendary coach joined Steve Russell on Sports Scene and discussed what the milestone means to him.

Career History

Johnny Wiggs himself is a product of Santa Fe’s ability to develop players at the JUCO level. Wiggs began his career at Santa Fe before playing his final two years at the University of Florida. He had great success at Florida, putting together a 23-6 record and made an All-SEC team.

Wiggs also has a long track record even before his 16-year tenure at Santa Fe. He was an assistant with the Saints, at Jacksonville and UF before he took his first head coaching job with Polk Community College. JUCO baseball has always been his passion, and he told Russell his goal was always to return to lead the Santa Fe program.

In his appearance on Sports Scene, Wiggs explained how his experience in D-1 helped him realize that JUCO was the right place for him.

Rollercoaster Season

It has been an OK season by Santa Fe’s standards in 2022. Wiggs’s squad sits at 16-3 on the season and is just 4-4 in conference play. The Saints have already matched their loss total from last season both overall and in conference play. They went 33-13 overall and 18-4 in their conference last year, so it has not been quite as dominant.

Wiggs discussed the season and what has contributed to the team’s ups and downs.

Now with all their guys healthy, the Saints are hopeful they can get things rolling. Wiggs compared this start to his 2009 season, which saw the team turn around a rough start due to injuries and finish as the national runner-up.

There is still plenty of time for the Saints to turn their season around. They have 22 conference games left, and they are normally a dominant force in that part of the schedule.

Wiggs will be hoping that this team can have similar fortunes to the one that nearly went all the way in 2009.

About Ethan Budowsky

Ethan Budowsky is a fifth-year telecommunications student at the University of Florida. He covers Major League Baseball for Just Baseball Media and previously covered the Miami Marlins for their SB Nation affiliate, Fish Stripes.

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