Arizona a hotbed of coaching talent

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Keith Hickman-Perfetti | Arizona Daily Wildcat

Rich Rodriguez speaks during the press conference to officially announce his appointment to the head coach of UA football, on 22 Nov. 2011.

Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Cream of the crop

Andy Lopez: Lopez has coached baseball at Arizona for 11 seasons, with a record of 402-246-1. In 2012, the Wildcats’ baseball team won the College World Series under the leadership of Lopez, who had taken one other Arizona team to the CWS in 2004.

Photo: Colin Darland

Colin Darland

Photo: Annie Marum

Annie Marum / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Eric Hansen, Head Coach Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive.

Photo: Alan Walsh

Alan Walsh/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sean Miller: The head of the men’s basketball program, Miller led Arizona to its ninth Elite Eight in 2011. Miller has a .696 winning percentage in his three seasons at the University of Arizona (68-35), but no season is as promising as the upcoming 2012 slate, as Miller and his staff have recruited one of the best recruiting classes in the country, according to ESPN.com and Scout.com.

Mike Candrea: As the face of collegiate softball on the West Coast, Candrea is entering his 27th season in charge. Under his direction, Arizona softball has become a destination for top recruits. Candrea has led Arizona softball to eight national championships and over 1,200 wins in his career.

Eric Hansen: Hansen took over the UA swim program for current USA Swimming director Frank Busch, and despite only coaching for a year, led the Wildcats to an undefeated dual meet season and qualified 14 individuals plus three relay teams for NCAA championships in March before coaching 10 current and former Wildcat athletes to Olympic berths in this summers Olympic swim trials.

Fred Harvey: The director of both the cross country and track programs, Harvey enters his 10th season as the head man at Arizona with three current student Olympians in his back pocket. Harvey has molded the careers of high jumper Brigetta Barrett (USA), shot putter Julie Labonté (Canada) and hurdler Georganne Moline (USA). Under Harvey’s coaching, 22 men and 20 women have combined for 110 All-America honors and six Wildcat athletes have earned 11 NCAA individual championships in the process., according to ESPN.com and Scout.com.

Mike Candrea: As the face of collegiate softball on the West Coast, Candrea is entering his 27th season in charge. Under his direction, Arizona softball has become a destination for top recruits. Candrea has led Arizona softball to eight national championships and over 1,200 wins in his career.

Eric Hansen: Hansen took over the UA swim program for current USA Swimming director Frank Busch, and despite only coaching for a year, led the Wildcats to an undefeated dual meet season and qualified 14 individuals plus three relay teams for NCAA championships in March before coaching 10 current and former Wildcat athletes to Olympic berths in this summers Olympic swim trials.

Fred Harvey: The director of both the cross country and track programs, Harvey enters his 10th season as the head man at Arizona with three current student Olympians in his back pocket. Harvey has molded the careers of high jumper Brigetta Barrett (USA), shot putter Julie Labonté (Canada) and hurdler Georganne Moline (USA). Under Harvey’s coaching, 22 men and 20 women have combined for 110 All-America honors and six Wildcat athletes have earned 11 NCAA individual championships in the process.

Legacy in progress

Rich Rodriguez: As the head football coach, he may be the most well known man in Tucson by the end of this season, no matter the result. What we do know about Rodriguez as he enters his first season is that he is in the process of changing the mindset of an entire program. In spring practice, “RichRod” spoke publicly about the mental and physical inadequacies his players possessed.

Niya Butts: The eighth women’s basketball coach in program history, Butts was one of the most sought after coaching hires in the country in 2008 before joining Arizona. Butts, who played for Pat Summitt at Tennessee, led the Wildcats to a 13-2 start in 2011 before an eight game losing streak decimated the Wildcats’ season, which they finished at 15-17.

Dave Rubio: A 20-year Arizona coaching veteran, Rubio has transformed the volleyball team into a conference contender and national threat. Since 2002, the Wildcat volleyball program has been to five Sweet Sixteen’s, four Elite Eights and one Final Four. In the process, Rubio’s teams have won over 200 games. Under Rubio’s leadership, this year’s mix of youth and experience is eager to move past the first round of the NCAA tournament, where their 2011 season ended.

Vicky Maes: Maes, a Belgian native, has been at the UA since 1994. She began as a student-athlete and coordinator of the Life Skills Program, and Maes’ women’s tennis team boasts a 100 percent graduation rate. Five Arizona players made the 2012 pac-12 All-Academic Team. Despite their failure to advance past the super regionals in the postseason this year, women’s tennis returns five of its eight player team.


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