She’s a total baller
Since 1985, U-M Softball Coach Carol Hutchins has consistently racked up championships and broken records at U-M and in the NCAA. Though she recently retired upon completion of her 39th season with the Wolverines, Hutch’s presence remains on campus with the April 2023 dedication of Alumni Field at Carol Hutchins Stadium. (Captions are sourced from this story by Michigan Athletics’ Leah Howard.)
“Hutch is a force who elevated not only the sport of softball but generations of female athletes as a staunch advocate of equality,” says Michigan Ahletic Director Warde Manuel. (As a U-M student, Manuel used to water Hutch’s practice field.) “She has been a tireless fundraiser for societal causes, including the American Cancer Society, and I know that she will continue to impact lives beyond the game of softball. Carol Hutchins is a legend.” (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
Her name ‘in lights’
Constructed in 1982 as Varsity Diamond, renamed in 1992 to Alumni Field, and incorporated into the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex in 2007, the home of Michigan Softball will hereafter be designated as Alumni Field at Carol Hutchins Stadium. The venue will continue to reside in the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex, flanked by the Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center. (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
Get the point?
Hutchins is the winningest coach — male or female — in Michigan Athletics history. She has served under nine athletic directors since arriving at Michigan in 1983 when she joined the staff as an assistant coach under Bob DeCarolis. The intensity she displays in this pic from a 1987 contest against Western Michigan never waned throughout her impressive career. (Credit: Robert Kalmbach Collection, Bentley Historical Library.)
Dedicated to you
On March 31, 2000, Hutchins moved to the top of the all-time win list for U-M coaches with win No. 638, a 1-0 victory vs. Indiana in the conference season-opening game. On Feb. 28, 2007, she became just the seventh coach in NCAA softball history — and the sixth in Division I — to reach 1,000 career wins. She became the first collegiate coach to 1,500 wins with an 11-3, six-inning win over Kent State on March 19, 2017, and similarly, the first to 1,600 with a 6-2 win at rival Ohio State on April 13, 2019. This photo comes from the stadium dedication on April 23, 2023. (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
This dramatic moment with the ref comes from a 1985 game against Indiana. Could he have known then that Hutch would become the winningest coach in NCAA softball history? She held the top spot for more than two years after surpassing former Fresno State coach Margie Wright’s longtime record of 1,457 in 2016, and reclaimed the mantle in 2022 with a win against Northern Kentucky to pass Arizona’s Mike Candrea’s record of 1,674 career wins. (Credit: Robert Kalmbach Collection, Bentley Historical Library.)
Gonna take you higher
“To all the women of Michigan softball, the alumnae who built this program since 1978, I am so honored to have been a part of your lives and journeys,” said Hutch during the April 23, 2023, dedication. “You don’t go to Michigan for four years; you go to Michigan for life. As a coach, my greatest joy and the ultimate reward has not been measured in wins and championships. Success is measured by the many, many people who fill your life.” (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
Hutchins never suffered a losing season and guided the Wolverines to numerous records, including a 65-7 campaign in its 2005 NCAA championship season, which culminated with a dramatic 10-inning win over UCLA in game three of the WCWS championship series. (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
Hutchins’ squads captured 22 Big Ten regular-season titles from 1995-2021, including nine in a row from 2008-16, and 10 Big Ten Tournament crowns, sweeping the conference championships seven times. Michigan has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 29 times, including each of the last 27 years, and made 12 appearances in the NCAA Women’s College World Series. Hutch is pictured here in 1997 with longtime assistant and now-head coach Bonnie Tholl. (Credit: Robert Kalmbach Collection, Bentley Historical Library.)
Bring it home
Hutchins was named Big Ten Coach of the Year on 18 occasions and garnered eight NFCA Regional Coach of the Year and a pair of NFCA National Coach of the Year (1995, 2005) honors. In 2016, she was named the inaugural recipient of espnW’s Pat Summitt Coaching Award, presented to the coach who “exemplifies the character and courage” of the legendary basketball coach who led the Tennessee Lady Vols. (Credit: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography.)
Hooch would be proud
Hutch’s late pooch, Hooch, seems to really enjoy some game action back in 1998. In addition to a coaching legacy, the pooch’s person also founded the Michigan Softball Academy in 2010 in conjunction with the program’s annual “Pink Game.” The one-night, on-field clinic for adults raises funds for the American Cancer Society. The Wolverines have raised more than $1.5 million since the program’s original Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk participation in 2007. (Credit: Robert Kalmbach Collection, Bentley Historical Library.)
Mary and Terry Clark
Congratulations on a stupendous record and enjoy your retirement.!
We have such fond memories of the games and comradery when Julie played for you from 1983 to 1987.
We wish you the best!
Robert Scranton - 1970 MPH School of Public health
Thanks Coach Hutch for all your years of coaching mentoring and being a leader for your time at both University of Michigan and Ferris State. I am also a grad at Ferris. So thanks for all your time and leadership