Aug. 8, 2012
TUCSON--University of Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea today named former All-American Caitlin Lowe as the program's director of operations and tabbed Tucson coach Mark Blair to serve as volunteer assistant.
Lowe, one of UA's four-time, first-team All-Americans, takes over for Alicia Hollowell, who earlier this summer was promoted to assistant coach after serving as director of operations for a year. Hollowell succeeded long-time assistant Larry Ray on the fulltime coaching staff.
Blair, pitching coach at Pima Community College for the past two seasons, a former pitcher in the men's amateur game, and a former coach at Flowing Wells High School, takes over for Candace Abrams, who served for several years after concluding her Wildcat playing career. She left earlier this summer to become head coach at Colorado Mesa University.
"Mark brings a lot of experience to the table. He was a noted player and his coaching brings an abundance of knowledge of the game to our program," Candrea said. "He'll be a strong bench coach, can pitch batting practice, and certainly help with our pitchers."
Lowe, who helped Arizona win NCAA titles her junior and senior years in 2006 and 2007, has been playing for the U.S. National team and in the National Pro Fastpitch league since leaving UA. She was an Olympic silver medalist for the USA team coached by Candrea in the 2008 Beijing Games.
"It's great to have Caitlin back in Tucson. She's a great addition to our staff, one of the best players to wear an Arizona or any uniform. While she won't be coaching, having another set of eyes like that will help our staff," Candrea said.
Candrea said Blair will officially begin duties Aug. 16, while Lowe joins the program the first week in September after her final game with the Florida Pride of the NPF.
The 2013 Wildcats officially report to campus late next week and will begin individual fall drills Sept. 4. Team practices for the fall season commence on Sept. 27.
The Cats will play fall exhibition games against Yavapai and Eastern Arizona Colleges on Oct. 7, play five games in a fall tourney Oct. 12-14, and play the NPF All Stars in an exhibition contest on Oct. 24.