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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona coaches to recognize

Courtesy+of+Arizona+Athletics

Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Mike Candrea

With eight national titles and an Olympic gold medal next to his name, Candrea has to be regarded as not just the best present coach at UA, but one of the top coaches in Arizona Athletics history. Under Candrea, the UA softball program is consistently among the best programs in the nation, having made the Women’s College World Series 21 times with the last NCAA title coming in 2007. Even as Candrea enters the later years of his career, he can still recruit and coach with the best of them. It’s safe to say that as long as he’s the head coach at Arizona, UA softball will continue to be relevant.

Sean Miller

When Miller took over the esteemed Arizona basketball program in 2009, the outlook wasn’t very bright. Miller changed that in a hurry by bringing in a string of top recruiting classes. Within two years, the Wildcats were playing in the Elite Eight, and by 2013 it was clear that Miller had stabilized a once rocky situation. Now that Arizona has regained its place among the top programs in the nation, it should be just a matter of time before Miller breaks through and takes the Wildcats to a Final Four.

Rich Rodriguez

Few could have expected Rodriguez to so quickly turn Arizona into a national player in the college football scene. Yet, in year three of his tenure, Rodriguez guided the UA to a Pac-12 South title and just its second 10-win season in program history. Just as impressive, Rodriguez and the Wildcats accomplished all this with a freshman quarterback and running back. Now Rich Rod will try to build off last season’s success—a daunting task made more difficult by the fact that Arizona has no bye weeks in its 12-game schedule. However, Rodriguez does have Anu Solomon returning as signal caller, as well as Scooby Wright III, arguably the best defensive player in the country.

Fred Harvey

As director of Arizona’s cross country and track and field programs, Harvey has coached dozens of All-American athletes and individual national champions. Since Harvey began coaching at UA in the early 2000s, the men’s and women’s track programs have consistently ranked in the top-25 nationally, both indoor and outdoor. Among the top athletes to train under Harvey include Lawi Lalang, Brigetta Barrett and Georganne Moline. Barrett and Moline also competed for Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics.

David Rubio

Volleyball coach David Rubio may not get the same recognition as some of his colleagues—a shame considering his program is traditionally among the top in the nation. Since Rubio took over in 1992, he has compiled a .626 winning percentage and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances. Rubio’s best season at Arizona came in 2001 when the Wildcats reached their only Final Four in school history. After a couple down years in the late 2000s, Rubio has Arizona back to competing at an elite level. Last season, the UA finished with 24 wins, its most since 2005.

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