|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 Women's College World Series championship (2005)
16 Big Ten regular season titles (1992, 1993, 1995–1996, 1998–1999, 2001–2002, 2004–2005, 2008–2014)
8 Big Ten tournament championships (1995–1998, 2000, 2002, 2005–2006)
16 NCAA Regional championships (1995–1998, 2001–2002, 2004–2010, 2012-2014)
National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2006)
Carol "Hutch" Hutchins (born c. 1957) is an American softball coach. In 27 years as the head coach of Michigan Wolverines softball (1985–2013), she has more than 1,250 career wins, more than any other coach in University of Michigan history in any sport, male or female. As of the end of the 2012 season, Hutchins had a career record at Michigan of 1,274 wins, 435 losses, and 4 ties, for a .745 winning percentage. She led the Wolverines to their first NCAA softball championship in 2005. In 2013, Hutchins passed the 1,300 win mark and became the third winningest coach in collegiate softball history.
Softball and basketball player
A native of Lansing, Michigan, Hutchins attended Everett High School, where she was an All-City basketball player from 1973 to 1975. Hutchins also played for the Lansing Laurels, an Amateur Softball Association fastpitch team that finished as high as fifth nationally. After graduating from high school, Hutchins attended Michigan State University, where she played on the Spartans' varsity basketball and softball teams from 1976 to 1979. Hutchins was Michigan's State's starting shortstop as a freshman and helped the Michigan State softball team win an Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Softball Championship.
After graduating from Michigan State in 1979, Hutchins attended Indiana University where she received a master's degree in physical education in 1981. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Indiana in 1981 and next became the head coach at Ferris State University in 1982. In 1983, she was hired as an assistant coach at Michigan, a position she held 1983-1984.
She became the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines softball team in 1985. When she took over as head coach, Hutchins reportedly "had a tiny salary, an only slightly larger budget, and had to take care of her own field, throwing down lime and riding the lawn tractor." Hutchins joked that there is still a dent in the fence from a day the tractor "just went wild." Since Hutchins became Michigan's coach, the team has never had a losing season. Hutchins' teams have also won 16 Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and 16 NCAA regional championships. She has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year on ten occasions and National Fastpitch Coaches Association ("NFCA") National Coach of the Year twice.
She led the Michigan softball team to its first NCAA Women's College World Series championship in 2005. The 2005 Michigan team was the first team from East of the Mississippi River to win the Women's College World Series. The Ann Arbor News described the team's accomplishment this way:
"What happened during the past five months might be the most unlikely accomplishment in the history of a storied athletics program, analogous to setting out to win an NCAA hockey title at the University of New Mexico. Then doing it. Now, before you dismiss that as hyperbole, consider a few factors. Like the fact that, because of cold weather, the Wolverines played their first 33 games on the road, roughly half the season. Try doing that in football or basketball. Then there's recruiting. Softball is still a sport dominated by West Coast talent. ... There's a reason no team East of the Mississippi had won an NCAA softball title until now."
After Michigan beat No. 1 ranked Arizona in March 2005, Hutchins told a reporter, "Yes, there is softball east of the Rockies." The performance of the 2005 team also set Michigan records in several categories:
- The team's 65 victories was the most in school history;
- The team recorded 32 consecutive victories between February 13, 2005, and March 30, 2005; and
- The team's 103 home runs tied for the second most in NCAA history.
After winning the World Series, Hutchins and her team visited the White House in July 2005, where they met with President George W. Bush, something Hutchins called "a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
In March 2000, she recorded her 638th win, giving her more career wins than any other coach in University of Michigan history in any sport, male or female. In 2007, she became the seventh coach in NCAA softball history, and the first in any sport at the University of Michigan, to reach 1,000 career wins. After winning her 1,000th game, Hutchins told a reporter that her greatest pride did not come from the 1,000 wins, but from her ability to influence how her players look at life, "to get them to work together and to meet standards, to show them they can lead as women." When she was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame, her players presented her with a scrapbook with a note from one saying, "I came here a girl with potential and left here a woman with no limits." Hutchins noted that those 15 words matter more than the 1,000 wins.
Honors and personal life
Hutchins is an avid mountain biker and runner, and continued playing organized softball and hockey until 1998.
- National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame
- List of college softball coaches with 800 career wins
- "U of M Softball". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
- Ricardo Cooney (2000-07-05). "Ex-Spartan thrives as Michigan coach: Former Everett star Hutchins is five-time Big Ten coach of year". Lansing State Journal.
- "A milestone at U-M, a rock for her players: Coach Hutchins sets first-rate standard". Ann Arbor News. 2007-05-03.
- "Carol Hutchins, Head Coach: 25th Season". MGoBlue.com.
- "Protect The Block 'M': Long-time Michigan Coach Carol Hutchins changed the face of softball in the Big Ten and across the nation with her Wolverine philosophies". Big Ten Conference. 2007-04-03.
- "It can't get much better for Hutchins". Ann Arbor News. 2005-06-12.
- Joanne C. Gerstner (2006-02-16). "Softball players bemoan sport's Olympics demise". The Detroit News.
- Kevin Wright (2005-09-05). "National Championship marks softball first". The Michigan Daily.
- Lou Ponsi (2005-03-21). "Softball: Michigan beats No. 1 Arizona to win Klassic; The fourth-ranked Wolverines win the final of the Fullerton tournament, 6-2". The Orange County Register.
- "Hall of Fame: Carol Hutchins". National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
- "Lloyd Carr, Carol Hutchins among latest Michigan Sports Hall of Fame class". AnnArbor.com. June 27, 2011.
- MGoBlue.com Profile of Carol Hutchins
- Long-time Michigan Coach Carol Hutchins changed the face of softball in the Big Ten and across the nation with her Wolverine philosophies
- University of Michigan Women's Softball