Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea was honored Sunday, April 10, in a postgame ceremony that celebrated 1,000 career victories.
In front of 1,402 fans, Candrea thanked the University of Arizona Athletics administration for giving him the opportunity 20 years ago to build the Wildcat softball program. He also acknowledged assistant coaches Larry Ray and Nancy Evans for their roles in Arizona's success, as well as past assistants Lisa Bernstein (now head coach at Minnesota), Bill Barth and former players/assistants Amy Hillenbrand, Stacy Iveson (now head coach at Pima Community College) and Jody Pruitt.
"We've always kept it in the family," Candrea said. "I think that's what's so unique about Arizona softball: It's a big family."
Candrea's 1,000th victory came on the road in Las Vegas last month - a 12-3 victory over North Carolina State at the UNLV Eller Media Stadium Classic. After the Wildcats went 2-1 over the weekend, his career record now stands at 1,013-195, for a career .848 winning percentage. Candrea's teams have averaged 53 wins per season.
Currently, there are only four other coaches in Division I softball who have gained entry to the 1,000 Win Club: Margie Wright of Fresno State, JoAnne Graf of Florida State, Gayle Blevins of Iowa, and Yvette Girouard of LSU.
As always, Candrea was not one to dwell on past accomplishments.
"Truthfully, the best two victories I can remember right now are the last two that we've had (over Oregon)," he said.