ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved on Thursday the renaming of the school’s softball stadium in honor of retired softball coach Carol Hutchins.
The home of U-M’s softball program will now be called Alumni Field at Carol Hutchins Stadium, according to an athletic department release.
The stadium was built in 1982 and was initially named Varsity Diamond. In 1992 it was renamed to Alumni Field. It is part of the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex on the school’s athletic campus.
Read: Legendary Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins retires after 38 seasons
“I cannot think of a better way to recognize Carol Hutchins’ contributions to the University of Michigan community, to the game of softball and to women’s athletics than to rename the venue that she put on the map,” U-M Director of Athletics Warde Manuel said in a statement.
“I appreciate the work of our University Naming Committee and the unwavering support from the Board of Regents and cannot wait for Hutch to watch her first game at a stadium named in her honor.”
Hutchins coached 38 seasons at U-M and is the NCAA’s winningest coach ever in softball with a winning percentrage of .755 and a career record of 1,707-555-5. She led the team to 22 Big Ten Conference Championships, 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10 Big Ten Tournament crowns, 12 Women’s College World Series appearances and an NCAA championship in 2005.
In 2006, Hutchins was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“The biggest honor is being coach to so many young woman and being that mentor, and if there’s one thing I will believe in until the day I die, is that athletics is meant to be part of the educational process,” Hutchins said at the regents meeting, where officials surprised her with the renaming ruling.
“The lessons our kids learned on my diamond are what they come back to campus with,” she said. “It’s the honor of my lifetime to have worn the block M and be part of this program. It’s the greatest honor of all. Thank you so much.”
In addition to being the winningest softball coach of all time of the NCAA, Hutchins is also the winningest coach in the history of Michigan Athletics.
She received numerous honors throughout her career, including being named Big Ten Coach of the Year 18 times, NFCA National Coach of the Year twice and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year eight times.