Softball Coach Linda Wells Announces Retirement After 2005 Season

May 20, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University head softball coach Linda Wells has announced her retirement effective at the end of the 2005 season, Athletic Director Gene Smith announced Thursday. Wells, who recently completed her 15th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program, will continue as the head coach through next season which concludes in May, 2005.

Arizona State's search for a new head coach will begin in early spring of 2005 in accordance with the Intercollegiate Athletic Board policy.

Wells, who is currently the seventh-most successful active coach in NCAA Division I history with 884 career victories, has led the Sun Devils to 10 NCAA Regional appearances in her 15 seasons, including two trips in the past six years to the Women's College World Series (1999 and 2002).

'It's been a really great career for me in coaching and I'm looking forward to next season and my next life's chapter after coaching,' said Wells. 'I have always had great passion for the game. My reward beyond the wins has been the relationships with peer coaches, staff and players.'

Only the second coach in Arizona State's 38-year history, Wells has compiled 533 wins, just three shy of the all-time record of 536 set by Mary Littlewood from 1971-89. Wells has produced seven players who have earned a total of 11 All-American awards and has coached 75 all-conference players during her tenure at ASU. In addition, she has tutored 35 career .300 hitters, averaging a combined .330 - not an easy accomplishment in the pitching-rich Pac-10 where games are traditionally low scoring.

'Linda has done a tremendous job as a coach spanning over 30 years of her career,' said Smith. 'She has touched numerous student-athletes during that time and had a positive impact on our history at Arizona State. She will leave her mark as the school's all-time career leader in wins, which is quite an achievement in itself. Linda will be sorely missed.'

This summer, Wells will serve as the head coach of the host Greek Olympic National Team that will compete in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

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