Chris Fanning reaches 600 wins at Sahuarita High School

Chris Fanning was the first softball coach in school history, and besides a three-year hiatus has coached the team ever since. (Kevin Murphy/All Sports Tucson)

Sahuarita head softball coach Chris Fanning picked up his 600th career win after the Mustangs shut out Nogales, 14-0, at Sahuarita High School Monday.

Fanning — who grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from Sahuarita High School in 1986 — became the first softball coach in school history in 1993, coaching the Mustangs to state championships in 1999, 2011, 2018 and runner-up finishes in 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010.

After Fanning won the state title with the Mustangs in 2011, he moved to administration roles with the school, including assistant principal and athletic director, before returning to coaching the softball team three years later.

In 2016, he stepped down as athletic director and has taught math at the school ever since.

Fanning says he is grateful to accomplish the milestone and is thankful for the support he received from his wife Wendy, their family, his brother — Sahuarita assistant softball coach Steve “Skeets” Fanning — and the many players he’s had the opportunity to coach along the way.

“When I started this program in the spring of 1993, I had no idea what my future would hold at the time. I’m grateful for my family and my wife allowing me to coach,” he said. “When you’re a coach, you spend a lot of time away, and that takes some things away, but she’s been very supportive. My family has been supportive. I was fortunate to have my brother Skeets with me almost every step of the way. It’s just been a fun ride. I’m just thankful for all the great players that have played throughout the course of the years.”

While he’s proud of the many girls he’s coached at Sahuarita who played softball in college, Fanning’s also proud of the many girls who moved on from softball, went on to college and experienced success in the world.

“That says a lot to the dedication and the discipline that they have, and they’ve grown up to be successful people,” he said. “Whether it be mothers, whether it be teachers, whether it be in the business world. That whatever they’re doing in life, they’re successful people.”


 ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

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