Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins has become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA softball history following the Wolverines’ 3-0 win over Northern Kentucky Friday afternoon.
Her 1,675 wins are also the most by any Michigan coach ever in any sport, male or female.
Before coaching the Wolverines, Hutchins played varsity basketball and softball for Michigan State from 1976 to 1979. As a freshman, she started at shortstop and helped lead the Spartans to an Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Softball Championship.
Hutchins began her illustrious coaching career as an assistant coach at Indiana in 1981. She then took the job as head coach of Ferris State before taking an assistant role at Michigan. One year later, in 1985, she became the head coach, a role she’s had ever since.
In 38 seasons, Hutchins has led Michigan to 22 Big Ten regular season titles as well as nine Big Ten tournament titles. Her legendary 2005 team became the first team east of the Mississippi to win the Women’s College World Series. She has never had a losing season since heading the program.
But Hutchins’ achievements extend far beyond the diamond. She has been a pioneer of Title IX action since she was a student, when her team decided to speak out against its unequal treatment. Hutchins v. Board of Trustees of Michigan State University helped improve more than just the conditions of the basketball team that kickstarted it. Hutchins stayed involved in the suit for years, and was always focused on pushing for equal treatment and opportunity for women in sports across the nation.
And college softball is better because of Hutchins’s efforts. And now, as the all-time winningest coach, she sits atop the sport.