Caitlin Lowe has been promoted to be the new head coach of the Arizona Softball team, replacing legend Mike Candrea. She said it best when she made her introduction:
“Count me in as part of the crowd who used to say, ‘man pity the fool who takes over after coach … I’m (now) that fool and I’m ready to go.’”
She’ll start her job headed out on the recruiting trail right away and is ready to start on a journey and career that will be tough to match Candrea’s but she’s ready, like she said.
“Caitlin is going to do a fantastic job,” said former UA All-American Amy Chellevold Hillenbrand in an interview. “She is a Wildcat through and through and has won at all levels of the game. She is passionate and bright and has always been a fierce competitor. I look forward to seeing the direction she takes our program.”
Lowe has spent the last nine seasons with Arizona working with Candrea’s staff following her pro career and collegiate career here at UA. Lowe was a four-time All-American from 2004-07 and was a member of the 2008 Team USA Silver medal winning softball team.
(Transcribed by Justin Sternad)
- Q: How has your day been as Coach, and is it setting in yet?
- Caitlin: “I think it finally set in after the press conference. I think there was a lot leading up to the press conference, but it’s been amazing. The support, especially from alumni or players, it has been fantastic and I’m so happy for coaching this next venture and I’m honored to step into his place.”
- Q: How hard is that part going to be for you to take over as head coach?
- Caitlin: “It’s going to be hard. He’s in my corner and I think that’s what matters most is that I have him as a sounding board and really just the support from the athletic department as well have helped support me. I know he has prepared me for this, and I’m excited for this new role and hopefully do it with the support of him too.”
- Q: He went out and sought you to do this considering there were other candidates and other All-Americans. That must be very special for you.
- Caitlin: “It is super special to be honest with you that I have his blessing and the blessing of the alumni. I think that’s what really hits home the most is that he’s entrusting me with carrying on the tradition and trusting me in putting the right stamp in this program going forward.”
- Q: What’s going to be the same and what’s going to be different as you get along as head coach?
- Caitlin: “The foundation is going to stay the same. I believe in hammering the fundamentals at practice and infusing a lot of competition at practice. So, I hope you see a team that came out just like Regionals and Super Regionals and compete and leave it all on the field whether they’re comfortable or uncomfortable. I think most of these things Coach Candrea would agree with too.”
- Q: When did you become more coach and less player?
- Caitlin: “The playing and the coaching actually overlapped a couple years for me. I was playing professionally, and I was able to have a job at the university and I realized that as a player it’s hard to hang them up, but then I realized that it wasn’t going to be hard for me because I had found my next passion and my next venture and that was exciting to me.”
- Q: How was it working with Coach Candrea?
- Caitlin: “It was great and I think a lot of the time we shared the same brain. I think being under his tutelage for so long and knowing the right time and feel for the game. He’s taught me so much and how to feel it out and has given me so much knowledge of the game that it’s easy for me to look at him and confidently say this is the right decision because we’d gone over everything so much.”
- Q: Your psychology background will help you a lot knowing how today’s athletes think and work, would you agree?
- Caitlin: “Oh definitely, I learned a lot even in competition how athletes go into their own heads and really just what makes them tick. I take great pride in going through a fall and learning about each one of our newcomers and current kids and learning the way they process information, how they compete, failure to recovery, all of those things and we have a great support staff in our psychology department at school as well. I love just ticking the brains of everyone in that area because I do think the mental aspect of softball is important.”
For the complete interview with Steve & Jay on Eye on the Ball visit: