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Former Arizona standout Caitlin Lowe will succeed Mike Candrea as Wildcats' softball coach
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Former Arizona standout Caitlin Lowe will succeed Mike Candrea as Wildcats' softball coach

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Assistant coach Caitlin Lowe, center, talks with Arizona third baseman Malia Martinez (17) and infielder Carlie Scupin (20) during Arizona's game against Florida State on day three of the 2021 Women's College World Series.

Former Arizona standout and longtime assistant Caitlin Lowe will replace Mike Candrea as the Wildcats' head softball coach, the UA announced Monday afternoon.

Lowe, who played at the UA from 2004-07, has been the Wildcats' associate head coach. She was widely viewed as the favorite for the job.

The 36-year-old Lowe will be introduced Wednesday in McKale Center. She replaces Candrea, who announced Monday morning that he will be retiring after 36 years, 24 Women's College World Series appearances and eight national championships.

Caitlin Lowe

"Coach Candrea has built a culture of excellence that puts his players at the forefront," Lowe said in a news release. "He has shown us all what it looks like to fiercely pursue our passion. He has led this team with integrity, class, and the upmost humility. I could not have asked for a better mentor in this game and most importantly in life. I take great pride in carrying on the tradition of what it means to be an Arizona Wildcat. I am so honored and extremely humbled to represent Tucson and the University of Arizona as your next head coach. Bear Down!"

Candrea said that Lowe "has been a superstar her entire life," from her college days to serving as captain of the United States Olympic Teams and  playing professionally.

"She is bright, a good communicator, understands what it takes having been there as an athlete, and the players love her," Candrea said. "Without a doubt, Caitlin is the best person to continue the Arizona legacy into the future. She will be a superstar for many years to come."

UA player Caitlin Lowe and a teamate celebrate after Arizona won the 2006 Women's College World Series.

Lowe has been on Arizona's staff since 2013, when she served as director of operations. She was a volunteer assistant in 2014 before joining the staff full-time a year later. She was elevated to associate head coach before the 2018 season.

UA athletic director Dave Heeke said Lowe "represents championship excellence as a student-athlete, coach and alumni of our nationally-renowned program. Her experience playing and coaching the game at the highest levels are the foundation of her outstanding coaching pedigree."

"She has played a key role in the program's legacy under hall of fame coach Mike Candrea and established herself as a rising star in softball coaching," he said. "I look forward to Arizona Softball's future as it continues its first-class success on the field, in the classroom and in our community."

Lowe has been married to former UA assistant soccer coach Paul Nagy since 2015. They have two children, Harper and Beckham.

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