Arizona athletes

Arizona Wildcats as Head Coaches: Add Three Names to List Including Joseph Blair

New names are added to the list of former Arizona Wildcats as head coaches, including Pusch Ridge baseball coach David Landrith, West Texas A&M softball coach Candace Abrams. and the latest — Joseph Blair of the NBA G-League’s Rio Grande (Texas) team.

Blair replaces former Arizona player Matt Brase — Catalina Foothills grad who is Lute Olson’s grandson — after Brase was elevated to assistant coach with the Rockets. Brase coached Rio Grande for two seasons and served as the head coach of the Haitian National Team this summer.

This will be Blair’s first head coaching responsibility. He was an assistant to Brase with Rio Grande the last two seasons. Blair, one of the most fundamentally sound centers to play for Arizona, was also a graduate assistant at Arizona under Sean Miller in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

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Blair has long had a Tucson presence leading the Blair Charity Group after his 13-year professional career overseas ended in 2009.

Abrams, who became head coach at West Texas A&M last season and coached the Lady Buffs to a 40-13 record, is a Tucson native who started as an assistant at West Texas A&M in 2014 following a two-year stint as the head coach at Colorado Mesa. She was a member of Mike Candrea’s staff at Arizona for a couple of years before that.

Abrams, who lettered four years at Flowing Wells, graduating from there in 2000, also was an assistant at Catalina Foothills in 2007 and 2008, which followed three years as an assistant at Pima Community College.

Former Flowing Wells and Arizona standout Candace Abrams is in her second season as head coach at West Texas A&M.

She was a member of Arizona’s 2001 NCAA Division I National Championship team. A four-year letterwinner, the versatile Abrams played catcher and outfield during her career with the Wildcats. An Academic All-American Honorable Mention, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and State of Arizona Teaching Certification in 2004.

“You have hired a young lady that has a passion for the game” said Candrea in a West Texas A&M press release. “Candance has a tremendous work ethic and will bring great energy and knowledge to your athletes and coaching staff. I am proud that she is a former Wildcat.”

Former Cholla High School and Pima standout outfielder Mari Ruiz is part of Abrams’ team as a senior.

David Landrith (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Landrith, a 1983 All-Pac-10 selection as a senior catcher, is well-known in Tucson baseball coaching circles having served as head coach at Flowing Wells for 20 years before serving as an assistant coach at Canyon del Oro. Landrith also served as an assistant at Pusch Ridge last year under longtime coach Mark Frithsen.

Landrith was a member of the Arizona 1980 National Championship team and played a couple of years in minors after the Royals drafted him in 1983.

The following is a list of the 38 former Arizona athletes who presently are head coaches:

FORMER ARIZONA ATHLETES AS CURRENT HEAD COACHES

High school boys basketball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Mike Bibby 1996-98 Phoenix Shadow Mountain 2014
Jason Stewart 1997-99 Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito 2014

Men’s college basketball (4)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Jason Gardner 1999-03 IUPUI 2014
Craig McMillan 1984-88 Santa Rosa (CA) JC 2000
Josh Pastner 1996-00 Georgia Tech 2016
Damon Stoudamire 1992-95 Pacific 2016

Men’s professional basketball (3)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Steve Kerr 1983-88 Golden State (NBA) 2014
Luke Walton 1999-03 L.A. Lakers (NBA) 2016
Joseph Blair 1992-96 Rio Grande (G-League) 2018

High school baseball (3)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Moises Duran 2001-04 Rio Rico 2014
Jason Hisey 1988-91 CDO 2019
David Landrith 1980-83 Pusch Ridge 2019

College baseball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Tod Brown 1990-94 North Dakota State 2007
Bill Kinneberg 1979-80 Utah 2005

Professional baseball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Shelley Duncan 1999-01 Class AA Jackson (MS) 2018
Terry Francona 1977-80 Cleveland (MLB) 2013

Women’s college basketball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Brenda Frese 1989-93 Maryland 2002
Adia Barnes 1995-99 Arizona 2016

High school football (8)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Marcus Bell 1996-99 Eager Round Valley 2011
Robert Bonillas 1995-98 Desert View 2012
John Brandom 1986-89 Riverside (CA) Hillcrest 2015
Mark Keel 1979-82 Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap 2000
Michael Klyce 2004-08 Los Angeles Locke 2017
Scott McKee 1999-02 Sahuaro 2009
Clarence McRae 2003-04 Mountain View 2012
Brandon Sanders 1995-98 Pueblo 2014

College football (1)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Edwin Mulitalo 1995-98 Southern Virginia 2018

College softball (5)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Debby Day 1989-91 Cal-Lutheran 2002
Kristie Fox 2004-07 UNLV 2017
Jennifer Martinez 2008-09 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 2017
Candace Abrams 2001-04 West Texas A&M 2018
Rebekah Quiroz 2002 Pima Community College 2019

High school softball (4)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Amy Baray-Rocha 1999 Salpointe 2015
Jackie Coburn 2002-05 Scottsdale Horizon 2013
Krista Humphreys 1993-96 Corona (Calif.) Centennial 2015
Jody Pruitt 1990-93 Peoria Sunrise Mountain 2011

High school soccer (1)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Alex Davis 2003-07 Flowing Wells 2011

College women’s tennis (1)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Danielle Steinberg 2005-09 Kansas State 2014

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