ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Carol Hutchins, the NCAA softball victory leader who led Michigan to the 2005 national title, has retired after 38 seasons directing the Wolverines.
The school made the announcement Wednesday, saying Bonnie Tholl was promoted to lead the program after she serving as Hutchins’ top assistant for 29 years.
Hutchins had 1,707 victories.
“There are countless people to thank, and I want to start with Bob DeCarolis for bringing me to Ann Arbor 40 years ago, and giving me this unbelievable opportunity,” Hutchins said. “I have served nine athletic directors and want to express my gratitude to each of them for their continued commitment toward the growth of women’s athletics and softball here at Michigan.”
Hutchins was hired as Michigan’s coach in 1985. Twenty years later, she became the first softball coach east of the Mississippi River to win a national title. In 2015, the Wolverines lost in the NCAA championship game.
She won 22 Big Ten regular-season titles, 10 conference tournament championships and never had a losing season. She led Michigan to 29 NCAA Tournaments, including 12 appearances in the Women’s College World Series.
Hutchins grew up in Lansing, Michigan, attending Everett High School with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. She played softball and basketball at Michigan State. She was hired as an assistant coach at Michigan in 1983 and returned to lead the team after one year as coach at Ferris State.
“Hutch is a force who elevated not only the sport of softball but generations of female athletes as a staunch advocate of equality,” athletic director Warde Manuel said.