The winningest coach in Michigan history is poised to retire wearing the Maize and Blue.
Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins has signed a five-year contract extension through the 2022 season, athletic director Warde Manuel announced Wednesday, adding that he was “delighted to announce that Hutch will finish her career here at Michigan.”
“She is a legend in softball coaching and a legend in Michigan’s illustrious history,” Manuel continued in a statement. “More importantly, she is a phenomenal person and leader of our student-athletes. I look forward to her leading our softball program for many, many years to come.”
Though terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, the deal includes annual rollovers. Hutchins’ five-year contract signed in 2012 concluded at the end of last season.
Entering her 34th season at the Wolverines helm, Hutchins has the most wins in NCAA softball history with a 1,527-491-5 career record. Under her guidance, Michigan has earned 19 Big Ten regular-season titles, nine Big Ten Tournament championships and qualified for the NCAA Tournament 25 times, including the past 23 years. Hutchins has led the Wolverines to Women’s College World Series appearances in 12 of the last 23 seasons, including a NCAA softball title in 2005 — the first team east of the Mississippi River to do so.
Arguably the greatest coach in NCAA softball history, Hutchins has collected 16 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, nine NFCA Regional Coach of the Year and two NFCA National Coach of the Year awards. In 2006, she was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“I remain honored and humbled to be the head coach at Michigan,” Hutchins said in a statement. “I am very appreciative to Warde (Manuel) and (senior associate athletic director Bitsy Ritt) for their hard work, leadership and continued faith in me and my staff. I have truly had a blessed career and consider myself the luckiest coach in America.”