In 1952, Mary Hines, the daughter of a Tucson policeman and a nurse, was named the UA’s Outstanding Women’s Athlete.
Hines went on to coach Catalina High School to a pair of state volleyball championships from 1968-84. Along the way she coached Stacey Iveson, now the UA’s assistant softball coach, who piloted Pima College to 2004 and 2006 NJCAA national championships.
Hines and Iveson remain close. A few weeks ago, Hines called to ask if she could borrow a softball.
“I’m going to enter the softball throw at the national Senior Olympics,” said Hines.
Before going to Las Vegas for the national finals, Hines and Iveson played catch a few times at Hillenbrand Stadium. Remember: Hines is 87.
Once in Las Vegas, Hines not only won the gold medal in the softball throw, she won a gold medal in the shot put.
“I didn’t even have a shot put,” said Hines, who was a standout tennis player and swimmer at the UA. “I practiced throwing a 4½-pound rock.”
She threw the 3½-pound shot put 19 feet 5 inches, which also would’ve won the women’s 60-69 class.
“It was a riot; I had so much fun,” she says.
It wasn’t Hines’ first gold medal, however. She coached an Arizona/Tucson 70-over women’s softball team to a gold medal at Stanford in 2012.
Because few opportunities were available in women’s sports in high schools and colleges when Hines graduated from Tucson High in 1947, she has been resourceful, finding opportunities as she can.
“I love sports and at my age I’ve been fortunate to be able to compete in a few things,” she says. “I’m certainly not ready to quit.”