The torch has officially been passed, but it didn’t go very far.
Just hours after Mike Candrea’s retirement was announced, Arizona has tabbed former Wildcat great and associate head coach Caitlin Lowe as his successor. She will be formally introduced at a press conference at 10:30 a.m. PT Wednesday at McKale Center.
Keeping it in the !— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) June 7, 2021
We are thrilled to announce our next head coach, Caitlin Lowe! pic.twitter.com/fsWaWbumeN
Lowe, 36, has been on the UA staff since 2012, and four the past four seasons has been associate head coach. She played for the Wildcats from 2004-07, helping them win back-to-back Women’s College World Series titles in 2006-07 while recording a school career-record 156 stolen bases and finishing in the top 10 in numerous other career statistical categories.
“Coach Candrea has built a culture of excellence that puts his players at the forefront,” Lowe said in a statement. “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.”
One of two UA players to be a 1st-Team All-American in all four seasons, Lowe earned a silver medal with at the 2008 Olympics—Candrea coached Team USA—and also played professionally.
Lowe is married to Paul Nagy, who was an assistant soccer coach at UA from 2012-20.
Candrea, 65, retired Monday after 36 seasons at Arizona. He leaves as the winningest coach in NCAA softball history with 1,674 victories, leading the Wildcats to 24 WCWS and winning eight national titles.
“Caitlin Lowe has been a super star her entire life,” Candrea said in a statement. “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.”