Retiring Mike Candrea 'made Arizona softball the standard' during time as Wildcats' coach

Jun 11, 2021 580

Mike Candrea wanted to go out his own way. That meant no fuss, no long goodbye. And no sharing news of his retirement during the Women’s College World Series — no matter how much ESPN’s Holly Rowe pleaded with him. The 65-year-old Candrea wanted to make the softball-shaking announcement in Tucson, where it all began.

Tuesday in Mckale Center, about 100 of Candrea’s current and former players, his family and colleagues from all over UA athletic department gathered to celebrate his 36-year tenure as Arizona’s softball coach. His farewell news conference came one day after the UA announced that Candrea would be retiring following 24 Women’s College World Series appearances and eight national championships.

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