Arizona Softball

Breaking: Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea announces retirement

Information from Arizona’s media relations department contributed to this report:

After arriving in Tucson in 1985, Arizona coach Mike Candrea has announced his retirement Monday morning following the conclusion of the 2021 season.

“It has been an honor to represent the University of Arizona for 36 years,” said Candrea. “I am indebted to every player, coach and member of my support staff that has made the Arizona softball experience one that I will cherish forever. When I arrived in 1985, I wanted to build a culture of excellence and compete consistently at the highest levels of Division 1 softball. Most of all, our goa was to prepare our student-athletes for life after softball and build relationships that would last a lifetime.”

Mike Candrea in his final game against Florida State in the Women’s College World Series (Troy Hutchison/

During Candrea’s time in Tucson, he has turned Arizona softball the gold standard of the sports, racking up 1,647 wins, making an NCAA record 34-straight postseasons, 24 appearances in the Women’s College World Series, and winning the national title eight times.


  • NCAA softball leader in wins (1,674) 
  • On April 19, 2019, became the fastest coach in NCAA history, any division, any sport, to accumulate 1,600 wins.
  • Fifth-most Division I victories of any coach in any sport.
  • Has led Arizona to eight national championships, more than any coach in NCAA Softball history.
  • Arizona has made 24 trips to the Women’s College World Series in his tenure, missing just eight times in the last 32 years.
  • Under Candrea, Arizona has a spectacular postseason record of 178-65.
  • The Wildcats have played in an NCAA-record 34 consecutive postseasons.
  • Fifty-three All-Americans with a staggering 108 total citations have played in the program since Candrea took over.

FOLLOW TROY HUTCHISON ON TWITTER! writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.

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