Sept. 19, 2012
What was the biggest thing you learned as a student athlete?
My most valuable lessons were self-discipline and responsibility. Coach Candrea was the first coach I had that really treated me like an adult. My first day of practice, he sent me on a run to Tucson Blvd by myself…….no one watched me, timed me, followed me. He trusted that I would do what was expected and so I did it. I had never had that before and I really use that in my coaching style now. Playing for U of A was my first real feeling of playing for something bigger than just myself/my team……we really were so proud of the name on the front of the uniform.
What or who was your greatest inspiration at Arizona?
My 1991 coaches and teammates really inspired me to be the very best athlete I could be. Our team had great balance – academics, athletics, and fun! Honestly, it was the hardest working group I ever knew, which made it so much more rewarding when we won the World Series that year.
I also was incredibly inspired by fellow Wildcat and great friend, swimmer Crissy Ahmann Leighton. Crissy was a collegiate record holder and Olympian. Crissy could have just stayed within the swimming circles, but she made a point to support all sports. I was so inspired by her sense of family within the U of A Athletic Department.
When did you know you wanted to coach and be an AD?
I always wanted to be a teacher. I love the energy and enthusiasm students bring in and the challenges that classroom dynamics bring. My teaching style was really like coaching – high fives, lots of movement, very upbeat. When the opportunity was presented to be able to coach fulltime here at Cal Lutheran, I grabbed it!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding times for me are seeing our student athletes succeed in any way…..from the softball player who emerges as a leader her senior year to the medical redshirt football player who finally becomes a starter, to the academically borderline student I’ve had to closely monitor who graduates after four years. I really enjoy the personal aspect that we have at this school.
How do you stay involved in AZ athletics?
We watch/go to as much as possible in this area, and I am a diehard www.arizonawildcats.com devotee – checking it every morning and night. I’m so thankful for the Internet!!! I’m also lucky enough to still work Coach Candrea’s camps so I get to come back toTucson. I love walking through McKale and the Hall of Championships, both to see my teammates and friends from over the years on those walls but also to appreciate the deep sense of tradition and pride that U of A has. The older I get, the more I realize how truly lucky I am to have been a part of the Arizona Softball tradition. I work at Cal Lutheran and love this school……but I bleed red and blue and am forever a Wildcat!!!
Thank you Debby for all your hard work and dedication to Arizona…. from the time you were a student athlete and forever on you will always be a Wildcat! BEAR DOWN!