The hits keep coming for former Arizona softball players elevated to head coaching status.
UNLV’s hiring Thursday of former Arizona softball standout Kristie Fox brought to mind once again the large number of Wildcat athletes overall who hold a head coaching position.
Another former Mike Candrea-coached player at Arizona — Jennifer Martinez — was recently hired as the head coach at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, a junior college in Tifton, Ga.
Fox and Martinez are two of 33 former Arizona athletes who are a head coach.
Fox was the head coach at Texas-Arlington from 2012 before leaving to head the Running Rebels’ program.
Thank you @UTAMavsAD for taking a chance five years ago on a young coach and helping me learn and grow in this business.
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Eight former Arizona players who excelled under Candrea are now head coaches either in college or high school.
One other former player who became a coach, Leticia Pineda-Boutté, who played at Arizona from 1995-98, resigned last May after 11 seasons at Washington-St. Louis.
Kristie Fox is in the middle of this photo with Caitlin Lowe on the left and Chelsie Mesa on the right, celebrating the 2006 NCAA title.
Fox, Debby Day and Martinez coach at the college level. Day, who played at Arizona from 1989-91, has coached Cal-Lutheran since 2002. Martinez, with Arizona in 2008 as a redshirt and 2009 as a senior after transferring from Cal State Dominguez Hills, starts her position at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on Aug. 1.
“I am so beyond excited for this opportunity,” Martinez said in a press release. “I have been dreaming of being a head coach my entire life.
“I want to remind the players that they are not too old to be students of the game. I don’t know everything about the sport, and I’m still learning alongside them. This will be a year of growth and figuring out ways to keep them motivated and engaged in the game. I know every coach’s goal is to win but I also want to make it fun for my team and help them to remember why they play.”
Five of Candrea’s former players coach at the high school level: Amy Baray-Rocha, Salpointe Catholic; Jackie Coburn, Scottsdale Horizon; Krista Humphreys, Corona (Calif.) Centennial; Danielle Rodriguez, Tucson; and Jody Pruitt, Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
FORMER ARIZONA ATHLETES AS CURRENT HEAD COACHES
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.