Photo Courtesy: Troy University Athletics
The Lady Pirate basketball team currently is the only National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) division I team sporting a 16-0 record and has earned them a number 10 national ranking.
This hot start is very reminiscent of the 2010-11 season when then Head Coach Chanda Rigby led the Lady Pirates to an undefeated, 32-0, regular season that included 20 consecutive weeks at no. 1 in the NJCAA poll. While they won the Florida State Championship the Lady Pirates came up just short of the National Championship and finished the year in third place with a 35-1 record. The 2011-2012 team saw similar success as Pensacola State (PSC) repeated as Florida State Champions and again finished third in the NJCAA National Championship.
The accomplishments of the Lady Pirates garnered national attention and Coach Rigby was hired by Troy University in April 2012 to take over the Trojan program. In her seven seasons at PSC Coach Rigby compiled a 153-64 record and coached three Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Americans as well as one McDonald's All-American and four NJCAA All-Americans. She was named the Panhandle Coach of the Year and the Florida Community College Activities Association Coach of the Year in 2011.
The Trojans have continued to steadily improve each season with Coach Rigby at the helm. The 2014-15 team won 20 games for just the fourth time in program history and the following year (2015-16) Troy finished with a 20-13 record and won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament for just the second time in program history. Last season (2016-17) saw the Trojans win their second consecutive Sun Belt Conference tournament championship earning them a second straight bid to the NCAA tournament.
When the current Lady Pirate team returns from their Christmas break they will kickoff Panhandle Conference play versus no. 5 nationally ranked Northwest Florida State. Per usual the Panhandle Conference is arguably the strongest in the country with all five teams being nationally ranked and Gulf Coast State is the defending National Champion.