Arizona Softball

Arizona softball: Contract extension for Mike Candrea

Mike Candrea acknowledges the crowd following his 1,500th victory at Arizona last season. (Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics)

Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea, who once told me he couldn’t imagine still coaching when he reached the ripe old age of 50, agreed to a contract extension through the 2022 season, the school announced Monday.

Candrea turns 62 later this month.

His base salary will increase to $345,000 per year, plus potential performance bonuses and 50,000 units in a master limited partnership that will vest at stages throughout the contract, according to a release from the school.

Candrea has won eight national championships at Arizona, plus Olympic gold and silver medals.

“Simply put, Mike Candrea is the greatest coach in the history of softball,” athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “From the National Championships to the Olympic medals, nobody has done more to grow the sport of softball. During his time as head coach at Arizona, Mike has shown an incredible aptitude to not only produce excellent softball players, but also excellent people, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s agreed to continue to lead our program well into the future.”

Candrea is 1,520-388-2 in 32 seasons at Arizona, becoming the Division I wins leader in college softball history.

“I’ve been blessed to lead our softball program for the last 32 years,” Candrea said in the release.

“I always tell people that I’ve never worked a day in my life, because I’m doing what I love to do at a special place like Arizona. The University, the administration and the Tucson community supports the game of softball, and that isn’t the case everywhere. I feel fortunate to be able to continue in my role as head coach and I look forward to seeing what we can do as a program moving forward.”

Candrea has coached 99 All-Americans, five National Players of the Year and four Olympians during his time at Arizona.

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