They were hired at Arizona less than 17 months apart by former athletic director Cedric Dempsey — Mike Candrea on Aug. 25, 1985 and Dick Tomey on Jan. 8, 1987 — and more than three decades later, they maintain a strong bond.
Candrea, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I softball games with 1,601 victories, and Tomey, Arizona’s career leader in football coaching victories with 95, spent time together on Easter today.
A photo of them together was released on social media by Tomey’s son, Rich Tomey.
Tomey, 80, is fighting the good fight against lung cancer.
Candrea, 63, is experiencing one of his better seasons, coaching No. 7 Arizona (38-7 overall) to a 20-game winning streak and 15-0 start in the Pac-12.
Rich Tomey, who played for Arizona’s baseball team, is the executive director of the Positive Coaching Alliance in Arizona and Hawaii. PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver live group workshops, online courses and books that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.
Steve Kerr is part of the PCA National Advisory Board.
Rich Tomey wrote about his father’s meeting with Candrea today:
“Great seeing Coach Candrea this Easter Morning. Dad loved catching up and talking some Wildcat Sports.”
How about these Arizona career-leading winning coaches hired by Dempsey in addition to Candrea and Tomey?
— Lute Olson, 589-187 as Arizona’s men’s basketball coach from 1983 to 2007.
— Joan Bonvicini, 287-223 as Arizona’s women’s basketball coach from 1991-2008
— David Rubio, 512-320 as Arizona’s volleyball coach starting in 1992.
— Bill Wright, 182 wins as Arizona’s men’s tennis coach from 1986 to 2005. He passed away earlier this month.
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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.