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Former UArizona softball player reacts to Coach Mike Candrea's retirement

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 07, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "He is Arizona Softball, he always will be."

Rebekah Quiroz played softball for Coach Mike Candrea at the University of Arizona from 2002 to 2005.

She's excited for the future.

"His successor is going to be amazing."

She said she can't help look back at the relationship she's had with him.

"It starts with a home visit. He came in, he had dinner with my family and I."

She said he made it a point, from the moment he recruited her, to instill self-respect.

"The best way to sum up coach is he's not a yeller, he's not a screamer, he is an absolute motivator."

The success of his softball programs over the years, Quiroz explained, started with the tough regiment Coach Candrea set.

"6am weights, it was mandatory study halls through 10pm, it was practice in the middle of the day."

She said she's a single mother now, coaching softball at Pima Community College, sharing those lessons with another group of ladies.

"Probably the biggest thing I learned from him and still learning from him is never to make excuses."

Her own experience as an example, Coach Quiroz said Candrea didn't just make a successful softball program, he molded successful women.

"The platform that he has put females on, and for the younger generation, has been something that I don't think will ever be replaced."