Mike Candrea High School Coach Tree

Mike Candrea with former Arizona star and current Wildcat club development manager Callista Balko Elmore, former Wildcat and Mountain View coach Jill Malina and former Wildcat and Tucson High coach Danielle Rodriguez. (Photo Danielle Rodriguez)

Former University of Arizona softball star Kristie fox was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year this spring, UNLV Coach and Caitlin Lowe is ready to return to the Wildcat program. There are several other standout alumni of the Mike candrea coaching tree in the college ranks but let’s take a look at the high school level:

Stacy Engel Iveson: Salpointe (1993 State Champion)
Amy Baray Rocha: Salpointe (State Championships 2018, 2019, 2021. Vice-champion 2015)
Jody Miller-Pruitt: Sunrise Mountain (2013 State Champion; 2004, 2012, 2017 finalist)

Candace Abrams, Catalina Foothills
Laura Espinoza-Watson, Empire
Amy Chellevold Hillenbrand, Canyon del Oro
Jill Malina, Mountain View Marana
Stacy Redondo, Salpointe
Danielle Rodriguez, Tucson

Jackie Coburn, Horizon
Tanya Farhat-Villarreal, West Bend (WI) Slinger
Krista Humphreys, Centennial Corona (CA)
Amy Rocha, Salpointe
Jody Pruitt, Sunrise Mountain


Former Arizona Speedboat Dee Dinota won a state championship as Canyon del Oro coach in 2001. Dinota narrowly missed Candrea, having played for Paula Noel. Noel, an outstanding pitcher, once coached Phoenix West High School to a state championship in 1978. Dinota also won a second place finish with the Dorados in 1997.

“I want to tell you that I played for an amazing coach, Paula Noel,” said Dinota. “Mike always made me feel like I was one of his own. He texted me and invited me to events. I love that he made an impact on my life without me even playing for him. I love this guy. I like that I can call him my friend.

Former Arizona Speedboat K’Lee Arredondo mother, Shelly Arredondo, led Tempe to a second place finish in 2007.

Former Arizona Speedboat T Statman played for Coburn at Horizon and Callista Balko played for Hillenbrand at CDO.

Paula Noël. (Arizona Collections)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the Best High School Journalist in 2014, he received the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a winner of the AZ Education News Award 2019 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach. for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about beach volleyball and high school wrestling. His own children have won several state high school championships and have been named to all-state teams. Participating in high school hockey, basketball, baseball and track and field, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member for the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing Arizona’s best soccer player, and he has been nominated Local hero by Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon committee. Contact Andy Morales at [email protected]

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