All-female coast football team has Wiggins Connection

Residents of Stone County do not expect to cross paths with one of the premier professional female athletes when they go shopping or dine out, yet several have. During the day, Brooklyn resident Tiandra Robinson works in a corporate atmosphere. But on Saturday, she is playing right-guard for the Gulf Coast Monarchy — the Coast’s only professional women’s tackle football team.

“I go to Wiggins frequently,” Robinson said.

Known as “T-Rob” to her teammates, Robinson is also the athletic director for the Monarchy in addition to playing for the offense.

The Monarchy is part of the Women’s Football Alliance, a full-tackle, professional football league with more than 60 teams nationwide.

Playing professional was a reality Robinson never expected to live out, despite her lifelong love for football.

“I came from a football family,” Robinson said, explaining her love for the sport. “We have always been a football-loving family.”

Growing up, Robinson played every game she could like volleyball and basketball. She excelled at shot put, discus throw in track and field. She also competed on her high school’s weightlifting team, which drew some raised eyebrows besides praise for her athleticism.

“Girls weren’t quite doing things like that,” Robinson said.

Robinson hails from Seattle, Washington, but she spent a lot of time in Mississippi with her maternal grandparents. She graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1996 shortly after meeting her now-husband.

She graduated, got married and became a mother. She has been married for 17 years. She has two teenage daughters and a pair of 11-year-old twin sons.

After high school, Robinson only took part in sports as a fan until 2016. She met some friends who played on a flag football team. She jumped for a chance to play on a local team in the WFA.

Last year, the Monarchy was supposed to play their debut season until plans were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the team is chomping at the bit for their first game on Saturday, May 1. The team currently has over 35 players, five coaches, 11 crew members and four administrators.

Robinson believes the people of Stone County, and other communities along the coast, will enjoy the games and competition the women put on display.

“The thing about football is that, no matter who you are or what your background is, people come together when it comes to sports,” Robinson said. “Football unites people and that’s what we want people to see when we play.”

The Monarchy practices and will play all home games at St. Martin High School.

Robinson said the games will be fun and have a family-friendly atmosphere, which is exactly what team owner Tyre Brown had in mind when she founded the Monarchy.

“She’s a lady with a vision,” Robinson said of Brown.

She says she found her life’s purpose on Biloxi Beach when she got the idea to bring a professional team to the coast.

“I heard somebody say ‘This is it’ and it wasn’t Michael Jackson,” Brown said.

Brown wants to play well against their upcoming opponents this spring. Eventually, she wants to put a championship ring on every single one of her players.

She wants to play at the championship game in Ohio this year, which she thinks will drive more fans to the league.

“Our goal is to do whatever it takes to get up there and bring that ring back to Mississippi,” Brown said.

All home games take place at the St. Martin High School football facility. General admission is $10. Children four and under are admitted free. Military admission is $8.

For more, check out the Gulf Coast Monarchy on Facebook.