Arizona Announces Caitlin Lowe as Next Head Softball Coach
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Following the retirement of legendary head coach Mike Candrea on Monday, Arizona Athletics has announced the promotion of Caitlin Lowe, who has been chosen as the next head coach of Arizona Softball.
One of the best players in Arizona history and the history of the sport, Lowe has spent the last nine seasons under Candrea and will now become the Wildcats' seventh head coach in program history.
"Coach Candrea has built a culture of excellence that puts his players at the forefront," said Lowe. "He has shown us all what it looks like to fiercely pursue our passion. He has led this team with integrity, class, and the upmost humility. I could not have asked for a better mentor in this game and most importantly in life. I take great pride in carrying on the tradition of what it means to be an Arizona Wildcat. I am so honored and extremely humbled to represent Tucson and the University of Arizona as your next head coach. Bear Down!"
Lowe learned under Coach Candrea as a player both at Arizona and the U.S. Olympic Team and then for the last decade on his staff.
"Caitlin Lowe has been a super star her entire life," said Candrea. "From her days as a four-time All-American at the University of Arizona to being a member of our USA Olympic Team to the National Pro Fastpitch league. Caitlin is special and she has continued that growth and success as the associate head coach for Arizona Softball. She is bright, a good communicator, understands what it takes having been there as an athlete, and the players love her. Without a doubt, Caitlin is the best person to continue the Arizona legacy into the future. She will be a super star for many years to come."
Lowe was an outstanding player at the sport's highest levels, succeeding collegiately at Arizona, professionally with the USSSA Pride and internationally with Team USA, before returning her to alma mater to join Candrea's staff for the 2013 team. Lowe served as the program's director of operations in 2013 and then the volunteer assistant coach in 2014 before joining the coaching staff full time in 2015. She has served as the team's associate head coach for the last four seasons, and will now take over as head coach for the 2022 season.
"We are excited to have Caitlin Lowe lead our storied softball program," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Caitlin represents championship excellence as a student-athlete, coach and alumni of our nationally-renowned program. Her experience playing and coaching the game at the highest levels are the foundation of her outstanding coaching pedigree. She has played a key role in the program's legacy under hall of fame coach Mike Candrea and established herself as a rising star in softball coaching. I look forward to Arizona Softball's future as it continues its first-class success on the field, in the classroom and in our community."
Lowe, a letterwinner from 2004-07, boasts some of the most impressive credentials in her time with the sport. A two-time national champion (2006 and 2007), Lowe's name is scattered throughout the Arizona record books: Lowe remains second in batting average (.446), fourth in hits (351), fourth in triples (12), seventh in runs scored (242) and first in stolen bases (156). She was unanimously named the greatest centerfielder of all time, both by a fan vote and by the 7Innings Podcast crew in its Greatest Softball Team of All-Time.
In 2007, Lowe was awarded the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the senior displaying excellence in the community, the classroom, character and in competition, as well as the adidas Golden Shoe Award, given to the nation's best base-stealer. The Tustin, Calif., native was a two-time finalist for the Honda Softball Award (2005 and 2007) as well as a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year in 2005.
Lowe is one of only six Wildcat players to be named an NFCA All-American in each of her four years with the program and joined Leah Braatz (1994, 95, 97, 98) as the only player in Arizona history to be awarded first-team All-America all four years.
An Olympian in 2008, Lowe took home the silver medal competing for Team USA under Head Coach Mike Candrea. Lowe competed for Team USA from 2005-2008.
One of the best centerfielders and leadoff hitters in the sport's history, Lowe has become an even better coach. She has made in immeasurable impact with UA's outfielders and its offense. Over the last five seasons with Lowe on staff, Arizona has a Pac-12 Championship, two trips to the Women's College World Series and four 40-win seasons, including a 52-9 year in 2017.
Lowe will be introduced on Wednesday in a press conference at McKale Center. It will be streamed live beginning at 10:30 a.m. MST.