Amy Hillenbrand's vast experience as a national-level softball player and champion offers a good complement to the Mike Candrea staff's baseball-like instructional regimen.
Hillenbrand -- Chellevold during her playing days -- is in her sixth year on the staff. A determined participant as a player, she puts the same verve into the Wildcat dugout. This time around, she will serve as a volunteer coach.
Hillenbrand has worked as an elite athlete representative for the ASA board of directors for the last 10 years, and also sat on the board oversight committee. She has also served on the selection committee for the U.S Women's National Team since 2004, and now serves as the athlete representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee for the sport of softball.
One of the greatest players in NCAA softball history, she initially joined the staff in December 1995, six months after trying her hand in marketing and sales. In past years, she participated in international ball, playing for the U.S. Team which won the gold medal in a World Championships tournament in Japan in the fall of 1998 and competed in 1999 for a spot on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team. Hillenbrand was also the team leader for the U.S. in the 2003 Pan-American games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Hillenbrand is Arizona's first four-time All-Pac-10 selection (1992-95), a distinction she shares with former Wildcat sluggers Leah Braatz, Jenny Dalton, Laura Espinoza, and Olympians Leah O'Brien and Caitlin Lowe. They and fellow UA All-Americans Susie Parra, Nancy Evans, Jamie Heggen, Debby Day and Jody Pruitt, among others, were the nucleus of UA's NCAA juggernauts of the 90s.
A three-time All-American, she left the college game in 1995 as the NCAA career leader in hits (371) and runs (252), plus finished at UA with a career batting average of .415, the top mark on Arizona's chart until Alison McCutcheon eclipsed her mark in 1998. Hillenbrand's career average is one of only nine Wildcats above .400. Dalton erased her career runs scored mark in 1996. O'Brien erased the UA career batting average mark in 1997.
Hillenbrand played first base on Wildcat teams which combined for a 232-24 record, a .906 winning percentage, two NCAA championships and three Pac-10 championships.
Hillenbrand graduated from Thousand Oaks, Calif. High School in 1990. She attended UC-Santa Barbara for a year on a volleyball scholarship then transferred to UA to play softball the following season. She earned her bachelor's degree in exercise sciences from Arizona in 1995.
Amy married Mike Hillenbrand in 2001, and has two children: Lauren, 6, and Brock, 3.