Mike Candrea High School Coaching Tree

Mike Candrea with former Arizona standout and current Wildcat Club Director of Development Callista Balko Elmore, former Wildcat and former Mountain View coach Jill Malina and former Wildcat and former Tucson High coach Danielle Rodriguez. (Danielle Rodriguez Photo)

Former University of Arizona softball standout Kristie Fox was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year this spring coaching UNLV and Caitlin Lowe is all set to take over the Wildcat program. There are several other former standouts from the Mike Candrea coaching tree in the college ranks but let’s take a look at the high school level:

Stacy Engel Iveson: Salpointe (State champion 1993)
Amy Baray Rocha: Salpointe (State championships 2018, 2019, 2021. Runner-up 2015)
Jody Miller-Pruitt: Sunrise Mountain (State champion 2013; Runner-up 2004, 2012, 2017)

Candace Abrams, Catalina Foothills
Laura Espinoza-Watson, Empire
Amy Chellevold Hillenbrand, Canyon del Oro
Jill Malina, Mountain View Marana
Stacy Redondo, Salpointe
Danielle Rodriguez, Tucson

Mike Candrea getting mobbed at one of his famous camps. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Jackie Coburn, Horizon
Tanya Farhat-Villarreal, West Bend Slinger (WI)
Krista Humphreys, Corona Centennial (CA)
Amy Rocha, Salpointe
Jody Pruitt, Sunrise Mountain


Former Arizona standout Dee Dinota won a state championship coaching Canyon del Oro in 2001. Dinota just missed Candrea, having played for Paula Noel. Noel, a standout pitcher, previously coached Phoenix West High School to a state championship in 1978. Dinota also earned a runner-up finish with the Dorados in 1997.

“I do want to tell you that I played for an amazing coach Paula Noel,” Dinota said.  “Mike has always made me feel like I was one of his. He texts me and he invited me to events. I love that he impacted my life without me even playing for him. I love that guy. I love that I can call him my friend.”

Former Arizona standout K’Lee Arredondo’s mother, Shelly Arredondo, coached Tempe to a runner-up finish in 2007.

Former Arizona standout T Statman played for Coburn at Horizon and Callista Balko played for Hillenbrand at CDO.

Former Arizona standout Alicia Hollowell-Dunn is the go-to pitching coach for all the major high school and youth talent in Southern Arizona.

Paula Noel. (Arizona Collections)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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