Softball mainstay honored (Arizona Republic)

Feb. 28, 2005

Softball mainstay honored

ASU coach Wells to get YWCA award


Sally Mesarosh
Special for The Republic
Feb. 26, 2005 12:00 AM



Linda Wells will be recognized at the 12th annual YWCA Tribute to Women 2005 luncheon at noon, March 2, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. It is open to the public. Tickets cost $80 and are available by calling the YWCA at (602) 258-0990, Ext. 16. Corporate table sponsorships are also available.

Tribute to Women 2005 is presented by The Arizona Republic and 12 News. The Salt River Project is the event sponsor, and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is this year's corporate sponsor.


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you . . .

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster


And treat those two impostors just the same . . .

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it . . .

- Rudyard Kipling

Kipling's words have served as a source of inspiration for Arizona State University softball coach Linda Wells during the wins and losses over her 16 years at ASU.

Wells' triumphs are many. She has led the Sun Devils to the Women's College World Series in 1999 and 2002, served a stint as head coach in the Greek Olympics in 2004, nurtured a number of players to All-America status and been inducted into several sports halls of fame.

Next month, Wells, 55, will receive another honor when she accepts the sports leader award at the 12th annual YWCA Tribute to Women luncheon in Phoenix. The tribute recognizes outstanding women whose accomplishments empower women and fight racism.

'It's hard to describe what an honor it is to be included among this group of women,' Wells said.

But this seasoned sportswoman knows it's not all about winning.

'I've been so fortunate to win so much in my life,' Wells said. 'I think people who win a lot realize that's not what it's all about. . . . What I'm most proud of is the relationships I've formed and the opportunity to work with great young women and continue to be part of their lives.'

Jill DeMichele, director of scholarship development and administration at ASU, nominated Wells for the YWCA award. DeMichele said Wells is a good example of what women's sports can let women do.

'She started in the days when there weren't opportunities and has persisted and succeeded,' said DeMichele, who won the YWCA sports leader award in 1996. 'We're very proud of her legacy at ASU.'

Wells said it has been satisfying to see how the opportunities for women have expanded over the years.

Wells was a three-sport athlete in high school and a five-sport athlete at Southeast Missouri State University. She played and coached professional softball from 1975-79, and Wells also played women's major fast-pitch softball for 18 years, earning All-America honors in 1988. She has a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree in exercise physiology.

Wells said she is grateful for the support of several people at ASU, including DeMichele and former Sun Devil Coach Bill Kajikawa.

At the end of this season, Wells will retire from coaching. She said she looks forward to doing some traveling and 'ordinary things.'

'When you play and coach as long as I have, you make certain sacrifices,' Wells said.



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