Inside Athletics

Priscilla Rickenbacker
Priscilla Rickenbacker
Year Inducted: 2008
Area of Distinction: Women's Basketball / Softball
Graduation Year: 1985

Priscilla Rickenbacker proudly represents the women’s basketball and softball programs as a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee.  In just two seasons, Rickenbaker was able to establish herself as one of the best all-around athletes to ever wear the blue & gold. 

In basketball, Rickenbacker averaged 17.1 points per game from 1980-82 and earned All-Region, All-Conference, All-Tournament, and Most Valuable Player honors in the process.  Her 1980-81 season, in fact, remains one of the best individual performances in program history.  The talented guard averaged 20 points and six rebounds per game that season, leading her Bishops to their first NCAIAW State Championship in basketball and their first overall winning record at 14-9.  For her efforts, she was named an All-American by the American Women’s Sports Foundation, becoming the first female athlete in Bishop history to garner such honors.

Rickenbacker also made a name for herself on the softball diamond.  Not only did she help the Bishops sweep the 1981 NCAIAW State Championships with wins in both basketball and softball, but she also helped lead Wesleyan to its first Dixie Conference Tournament Championship in 1982.  Most impressively, she did so as her team’s Most Valuable Player and as a First Team All-Conference performer at second base, posting a remarkable .456 batting average. Rickenbacker’s Battling Bishops turned in a 49-10 record during her two-year tenure with the team.

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Rickenbacker earned her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from North Carolina Wesleyan in 1985.  She went on to enjoy an impressive collegiate coaching career, serving as assistant women’s basketball coach at such institutions as Johnson C. Smith University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Loyola University of Chicago, the University of Cincinnati, and Appalachian State University. 

Within the high school ranks, Rickenbacker brought notable success to North Gaston High School in Dallas, N.C. as head women’s basketball coach from 1997-1999.  During the 1997-98 season, she led the Wildcats to their first Conference Championship and Tournament Championship since 1977 with an overall record of 23-2.  She then proceeded to earn Conference Coach of the Year accolades the following season.