George L. Wigton served Bates College from 1965 until his retirement in 1996. During that time he was Bates’ longest serving coach of men’s basketball (20 years), and at 26 years the longest serving coach of men’s tennis. He coached men’s soccer and women’s tennis. He was instrumental in bringing squash to Bates, and served as head coach for men’s and women’s squash. For the 10 years between 1974 and 1984 he was Assistant Director of Athletics.
George’s early career reflects his Buckeye origins. He was an All-Ohio basketball player, and all-conference in the Cleveland Southwestern Conference in basketball, football and track. His basketball team at the U.S. Naval Base in Norfolk, Va., was All-Navy champion. He was on the varsity basketball and track teams at Ohio State, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1956.
Alumni and friends have endowed the George L. Wigton Scholar Athlete Award that supports a student who exemplifies the qualities Coach Wigton embodied. Nominees for this award must have a B average or better; demonstrated leadership qualities reflective of Coach Wigton’s lifelong commitment to the values of athletics participation; and a willingness to participate in a research project that links sport and education.
This year's winner is of the George L. Wigton Scholar Award is Charlotte Green from the Women's Swimming & Diving team who will be using the award funds to research how, over time, swimming appealed to, or was available to, certain types of people and races over others. She will use what she learns in her research in her volunteer role at the Bridgeport YMCA, a local partner of the Make a Splash Foundation. The latter is a program designed by USA Swimming to change the statistics about minority swimming by providing swim lessons to children from minority families. Ultimately, Charlotte hopes with her research project to continue to help the cause of fostering the interest in swimming in minority children thereby reducing the statistics of drowning and providing more people with the important life skill of swimming.
CONGRATS CHARLOTTE - WHAT AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!