UA Softball Coach Mike Candrea to speak at Wall of Success event

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Current University of Arizona Head Softball Coach Mike Candrea '75 will serve as one of two keynote speakers for the 2011 CAC Wall of Success banquet set for this Saturday evening, Nov. 12, on the Signal Peak Campus.Mike Candrea

Candrea, who was inducted into the Wall of Success in 2009, will join Dr. Bob England '76, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, as a keynote speaker for this year's event.

The 3rd Annual CAC Wall of Success Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Cafeteria on the Signal Peak Campus. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the induction ceremony commencing at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the ceremony are $50 and may be reserved by contacting Marilyn Ramirez (520-494-5216/marilyn.ramirez@centralaz.edu). Seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early.

This year's inductees include Nancy Caywood, the educational outreach coordinator for the FARM SMART program at the University of California, Davis; Jerald Monahan, the chief of police for the city of Apache Junction; Mike Sauceda, longtime radio personality in the Phoenix metropolitan area; and Gregg Smith, project manager-civil engineer in the Southwestern United States.

Each year Central Arizona College inducts outstanding alums into the Wall of Success and presents each candidate with the Extraordinary Alumni Achievement Award during a dinner and ceremony held at the Signal Peak Campus.

The first group of honorees was inducted during the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Signal Peak Campus on November 14, 2009. A special plaque entitled Wall of Success is mounted in the Student Services Building (M) on the Signal Peak Campus to honor all of the inductees.

Many factors go into selecting Wall of Success members, including but not limited to volunteerism in the community; professional, local, regional, national or international recognition; and accomplishment in their field of expertise.

In 2012, Candrea will enter his 27th season as the head coach of the University of Arizona softball team.

He is one of the most respected coaches in the nation with unparalleled accomplishments - nine national titles in 21 seasons, 21 trips to the Women's College World Series in the last 22 years, 1,274 career victories, an .830 career winning percentage, 49 All-Americans and four national players of the year.

Candrea is 26 wins shy reaching 1,300 for his career and is poised to become the fastest coach in NCAA softball history to reach 1,300 victories. Only one other coach has eclipsed the 1,300-win plateau - Margie Wright of Fresno State who accomplished the feat in her 30th season.

In 2004, Candrea struck gold on the world stage by leading Team USA to an Olympic gold medal as its head coach. His second Olympic squad took home the silver medal in 2008.

In 2004, Team USA posted a perfect 9-0 record, outscoring its opponents 51-1 on its way to gold in one of the most dominant team performances in Olympic history. In 2008, the team came just short of winning its fourth consecutive gold medal.

Since 1988, the University of Arizona has failed to win less than five post-season games just twice, while the Wildcats have eclipsed the 50-win mark 17 times.

His teams have posted victory totals of 67 (1998), 66 (1995), 65 (2001), 64 (1994) and 61 (1997) with all five seasons ranked among the top 10 in NCAA Division I Softball history.

Include his five-year stint as a two-year college coach at Central Arizona College and Candrea's career record stands at 1402-332-2 that translates into a phenomenal .808 winning percentage.

Candrea's style of play, public persona and consistent winning has put Wildcat fans in the stands at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. The University of Arizona set the NCAA record for attendance in 2011, attracting 77,129 fans over 30 home dates.

The Wildcat faithful have led the country in per-game home attendance in five of the last six years and nine times since the stadium opened in 1993.

Candrea began his softball coaching career at Central Arizona College (CAC) from 1981-85. His team won consecutive NJCAA World Series titles during his final two seasons, earning him national coach the year honors in each of those seasons.

Prior to coaching softball, he was an assistant baseball coach at CAC from 1976-80. On January 18, 2009, Candrea was part of the Vaquero Athletic Hall of Fame's inaugural class.

Candrea was a baseball player at Central Arizona College whose playing career was cut short by an elbow injury. He earned an associate degree at CAC in 1975, a bachelor's degree at Arizona State in 1978 and a master's degree from ASU in 1980.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814