Speculation about whether Arizona softball would address its pitching issues through coaching changes was answered late Wednesday afternoon. A listing for the position of pitching coach appeared on the University of Arizona’s recruitment website.
Former Arizona great Taryne Mowatt-McKinney has held the position of pitching coach since 2017 when she was hired by former Wildcat coach Mike Candrea. However, Arizona’s shortcomings in the circle have caused rumblings across the fanbase about whether changes need to be made.
Mowatt-McKinney certainly cannot be blamed for all of Arizona’s pitching issues. Last year, she was tasked with trying to develop injured pitchers when both Devyn Netz and Hanah Bowen struggled with injury most of the season. However, pitching has been at the heart of Arizona’s difficulties most seasons. It remains one of the most potent offensive teams in the country and had the second-best defense in the country this season. In contrast, it was last in the Pac-12 in ERA.
The posting for a new pitching coach does not necessarily mean that Mowatt-McKinney is out at Arizona. She is still listed on the coaching staff roster as of Wednesday night. Also, Arizona will be able to hire a third assistant beginning on July 1 when the rules about the volunteer assistant position change. It does indicate that head coach Caitlin Lowe realizes what skills will most help the Wildcats going forward. Someone to help the pitchers appears to be at the top of that list.
UPDATE: Extra Inning Softball reports that Mowatt-McKinney is no longer on staff, but Arizona will only confirm that an open position has been posted.