Dave Feinberg enters his third year with the Arizona softball program and his first as a full-time assistant coach and assumes responsibility over the Wildcat hitters during Mike Candrea's partial leave of absence.
While Feinberg's resumé includes experience ranging from head baseball coach at the junior college level to Division I assistant baseball and softball coach at various points in his career, it is Candrea's trust that he will preserve one of the perennially top offenses in the country that is most telling.
Suffice to say, if the UA hitters produce results with anywhere near the success the Wildcat outfielders performed last year, Arizona will contend for a third consecutive national championship.
The UA outfielders, who have been under Feinberg's domain since his arrival in fall 2005, committed just one error last year in 155 chances last season. That figure computes to a stunning .994 fielding percentage, which does not seem so surprising for anyone who has seen the manner in which Feinberg coaches the last line of Wildcat defense. Like the rest of the UA program, his focus stresses the details in a game of repetitions, while it is easy to go through the motions. He scouts tirelessly to put his fielders in a position to make a play, and ultimately gives them the tools it takes to make the right play.
Perhaps most telling in his work with the outfielders is the ability to communicate his message effectively to players whose talent ranges across the board. For example, over the last three years Feinberg groomed since-graduated center fielder Caitlin Lowe into arguably one of the best defensive outfielders in the history of the sport, drawing comparisons to fellow U.S. National Team member Laura Berg.
On the other side, in 2007 Feinberg was presented with an athletic, yet inexperienced freshman, K'Lee Arredondo. Recruited as a middle infielder, Arredondo was blocked from her natural position by All-American shortstop Kristie Fox. Nevertheless, her bat was a necessity in a lineup that had only one vacancy from the previous year's national championship squad. Having never played outfield in a dozen years of softball, Arredondo studied under Feinberg to have a perfect fielding percentage as UA's left fielder and would go on to make countless diving catches down the line, including one that saved UA from a touchdown-sized deficit in the first game of the Super Regional against Cal State Fullerton.
Despite his success with the Arizona outfielders, it would be both inaccurate and remiss to consider such his only contribution to the Arizona softball program. Beginning in fall 2006, Feinberg, who has earned four university degrees and has worked as a school administrator, assumed duties as liaison for team scholastic endeavors and through C.A.T.S Academic program. His approachability, listening skills and wide-ranging knowledge or matters on and off the field are cited by players.
Prior to coming to the Old Pueblo, Feinberg was most recently on staff with the Texas Tech softball program in 2003. With the Red Raiders, he served as the hitting and outfielders coach.
Earlier in his career, Feinberg worked as the Nevada baseball team's hitting coach. There, he made an immediate impact as his Wolf Pack led the WAC in batting average and home runs.
Before making the jump to Division I baseball, he was head baseball coach at Arizona Western College, where he led the Matadors to victory in over 74 percent of their games, and his student-athletes maintained cumulative 3.2 grade-point average. On the field, Feinberg turned the Matadors' fates around from a last-place finish prior to his arrival to a runner-up performance in league play in his very first year. In 1981, Feinberg's aggressive style and ability to pick up on the nuances of the game helped AWC lead the nation in stolen bases.
Feinberg's first collegiate coaching stop, however, came in baseball at UNLV. During his tenure as an assistant coach, the Rebels reached NCAA Regional play three times.
Feinberg's ties to Arizona softball reach back more than 10 years before Mike Candrea was introduced as UA's head coach. In the mid-1970s, Feinberg, along with eventual Arizona assistant coach Larry Ray, led the Boulder City (Nev.) High School baseball team to a state championship and a runner up finish, while posting a 52-9 record over three years.
As a fast-pitch softball player, Feinberg's competed for more than 20 years in the men's elite leagues. A veteran of eight ISC/ASA World Championships as a player, Feinberg and Ray played together for five years.
Feinberg has earned four degrees from the University of Nevada, including a bachelor's degrees in both physical education and science, a master's in educational administration and leadership, as well as a bachelor's in English.
A self-described family man, Feinberg made the decision to put his successful baseball coaching career on hold until both his daughters had graduated from high school. Feinberg and his wife of 33 years, Candace, have two daughters: Ashley and Taelor. Ashley, 29, graduated from Kansas State and is currently a veterinarian in Reno, Nev. Taelor, 25, graduated from UNLV last year and now works in the corporate field in Phoenix.