By Eric Wein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

On the day after the Arizona softball team won the national championship last May, they came back to the field at Hillenbrand Stadium for a celebration.

Clad in national championship T-shirts, the players gathered around assistant coach Larry Ray to shave his head bald. Coach Mike Candrea had his head shaved after Arizona's 1993 championship. For the last two times the Wildcats won national championships, their coaches had promised to shave their heads beforehand to provide motivation.

After the task was finished in May, some players turned to then-assistant coach Jody Pruitt and said she was next. A 1995 win would allow all three to have their head shaved.

Pruitt said she would have nothing of it. And then a few days later, she announced she had already accepted a job to teach at a Phoenix high school. Pruitt wanted to raise a family.

So, chances are this coach probably won't be bald come next May.

Candrea announced last week he has hired Stacey Hill to join his staff.

Hill served as the softball coach at Salpointe High School recently and led the Lancers to the 1993 state title.

Before she was married, Hill Ä then Stacey Engle Ä was a UA catcher from 1986-89 while earning Pac-10 honors her sophomore year. She also played at Catalina High School.

Candrea said he sought her because of her success at Salpointe and her familiarity with Arizona.

"She's got a very good knowledge of the game," Candrea said.

Hill, 26, will take over Pruitt's task of instructing the pitchers and catchers. Candrea said he will work more with pitchers than he did last season. Read Next Article