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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Candrea ready for return to dugout


Arizona head softball coach Mike Candrea is feeling just a little bit wiser after spending three nights in the hospital as a result of chest pains. He will return to coach against Stanford this weekend.

“I’m feeling great,” Candrea said. “I’m on the right side of the grass so things are good, but definitely a little wake-up call.”

Candrea’s body needed a break after a long career of nonstop coaching, he explained.

“Stress is kind of a real thing in coaching and I’ve been very blessed over the years,” Candrea said. “Looking back at the 1,600 games or whatever it may be, you don’t really think about it but this past weekend it really caught up to me. Hopefully I was able to get it taken care of.”

Candrea said he did not get enough sleep, eat properly or stay hydrated leading up to game three of the ASU series on Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend. It all led to a “foggy” feeling and a heavy pressure on his chest that forced Candrea to step out of the dugout.

“I came back and it was just like, ‘Something’s wrong.’ So I just handed my lineup card to Larry (Ray) and they went and called the doctor and they immediately called the paramedics and did some tests,” Candrea said.

After being transported from Tempe to the University of Arizona Medical Center, Candrea was warned by doctors of several risk factors that required further tests, such as a brain scan, blood work and a stress test. Doctors reminded Candrea that he complained of similar chest pains about five years go.

All tests came back normal, but the scare left Candrea more aware of his health, and he said he’s grateful to be back.

“I always talk about not taking any day for granted and living each day like it’s your last,” Candrea said.

The Wildcats have had a couple of tough weekends, not only as a result of Candrea’s absence but also in the mental game as they strive to find a balance on the field.

“People say it’s just a game, but when you care about something so much, it’s more than that,” Candrea said. “And I think that’s when it gets to the point where it can affect you in a negative way.”

But despite the health scare, Candrea still found a way to translate things into something that could be relevant on the softball field — dealing with the highs and lows that come during a season.

“I just kind of went through one of those ups and downs that I never thought was going to happen to me,” Candrea said. “But it did.”

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