April 1, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY - USA Softball Olympic head coach Mike Candrea was recently announced as one of five finalists for the 2003 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) National Coach of the Year award.
The award will be presented Sunday, May 2, 2004, during a dinner at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO where the USOC will also recognize the Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year.
In 2003, Coach Candrea, of Casa Grande, Ariz., added the fifth consecutive Pan American gold medal to the USA Softball extended list of achievements, along with title performances at the U.S. Cup and Japan Cup. The team posted a 30-2 overall record for the year outscoring opponents 240-17.
Set to lead the defending two-time Olympic gold medalist in Athens, Greece, Candrea also serves as head coach at the University of Arizona where he has captured six national titles. The U.S. Team recently completed a tour of top collegiate competition with a 25-0 record including a 6-1 victory over his own Wildcats in Tucson -- and event which drew a stadium-record crowd of 3,541.
"We are extremely honored for Mike to be recognized as one of the finalists for the Coach of the Year award," ASA/USA Softball executive director Ron Radigonda said. "His coaching record speaks for itself during his time at Arizona and with the USA Softball program. The quality, excellence, and success he puts forth has been a huge plus for us our program. He has been instrumental in our success and we are looking forward to the future. He truly has the ability to make great players even better through his knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication."
Forty-one Olympic and Pan American sport organizations selected their 2003 National, Developmental and/or Volunteer Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year recognition program. The five finalists in the National and Developmental categories and the winner of the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year title will be honored May 1-3 at the Colorado Springs Training Complex.
The following coaches round out the field of five selected by the USOC; Bob Bowman (Baltimore, Md./USA Swimming), Edward Korfanty (Portland, Ore./U.S. Fencing), Terry Steiner (Colorado Springs/USA Wrestling) and Lloyd Woodhouse (Colorado Springs/USA Shooting).