Margie Wright

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Margie Wright
Sport(s) Softball
Biographical details
Born (1952-12-28) December 28, 1952 (age 65)
Warrensburg, Illinois
Playing career
1971–1974 Illinois State
Position(s) Pitcher
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1975–1977 Metamora Twp HS
1978–1979 Eastern Illinois (asst.)
1980–1985 Illinois State
1986–2012 Fresno State
Head coaching record
Overall 1,457–542–3 (.729)
Tournaments NCAA Division I: 76–50 (.603)
Accomplishments and honors
  • Women's College World Series (1998)
  • WAC Tournament (1999, 2007, 2009)
  • 10× WAC regular season (1996, 1998–2002, 2004–2006, 2009)
  • PCAA/Big West regular season (1987–1992)
  • NorPac Tournament (1986)
  • NorPac regular season (1986)
  • Gateway Tournament (1985)
  • 2× Gateway regular season (1984, 1985)

Marjorie Ann Wright (born December 28, 1952) is a former college softball coach. She was the head softball coach at California State University, Fresno—more commonly known as Fresno State—from 1986 to 2012. She led the Fresno State Bulldogs to the NCAA national softball championship in 1998 and is the NCAA's second all-time winningest softball coach. She also ranks second all-time in career victories among NCAA Division I coaches in all sports. She was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000 and the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. She retired at the end of the 2012 season.


Wright grew up in Warrensburg, Illinois and graduated from Warrensburg-Latham High School.[1][2] She attended Illinois State University, where she was a pitcher for the 1973 Illinois State softball team that was the national runner-up at the AIAW Women's College World Series.[3] Wright pitched all 16 innings in the title game as the Redbirds narrowly fell to Arizona State, 4-3. On the day of that final, Wright heroically hurled 30 innings in three games. For pitching too many innings in one day, a three-woman Illinois sports commission suspended her from pitching in any game in her upcoming senior season and also banned the softball team from post-season play in 1974.[4]:23–24 Wright went on to pitch for the St.Louis Hummers in the women's professional softball league.

Coaching career[edit]

Illinois State[edit]

Wright graduated from Illinois State in 1974. She became head softball coach at Metamora Township High School right after graduation. Wright then became an assistant softball coach at Eastern Illinois University in 1978. Returning to Illinois State, Wright began as head softball coach in 1980. In six years at Illinois State, Wright compiled a record of 163 wins, 92 losses, and 2 ties, including a 40-win season in 1981.[5]

Fresno State[edit]

In 1985, Wright was hired by California State University, Fresno as its head softball coach, a position she held for 27 years. She led Fresno State to a national championship in 1998, the first national championship won by Fresno State in any team sport.[3] As of 2009, she had coached 53 All-Americans, 16 Academic All-Americans, 11 NCAA team statistical champions, eight professionals, and 15 Olympians.[1]

In 33 years as a head softball coach, Wright compiled a record of 1,457 wins, 542 losses and 3 ties.[4]:24–25 She is the NCAA's all-time winningest softball coach,[3][6] and also ranks second all-time in career victories among NCAA Division I coaches in all sports, trailing only Texas Longhorns baseball coach (and Fresno State alumnus) Augie Garrido.[7]

Wright's significant career milestones include:

  • In March 1980, she won her first game as a head coach by a score of 6-0 over New Mexico.[3]
  • In March 1992, she achieved her 500th career victory with a 2-1 win over Arizona.[3]
  • In March 2000, she broke Judi Garman's mark as the all-time winningest softball coach with career victory No. 914, a 1-0 win over Oklahoma.[7][8]
  • In March 2002, she became the first softball coach to amass 1,000 wins with a 5-3 win over Boston University.[3]
  • In May 2008, she achieved her 1,300th win by a score of 3-2 against New Mexico State."Career Win 1,300 for Margie Wright". ABC30. 2008-05-03.</ref>
  • In February 2010, Wright achieved her 600th win at Fresno State's home field, Bulldog Diamond.[9]
  • In May 2010, she took Fresno State to a record 29th straight NCAA softball tournament, ultimately losing to the 2010 national championship team from UCLA.

Wright has become a popular figure in the Fresno community and was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.[10] Interviewed by the USA Today in May 2000, Wright said, "The city is great. I do a lot of speaking engagements out in the community, and I guess the people like what they hear. Certainly, if you're successful, they'll come out and support you."[11]

Bulldog Diamond was renamed Margie Wright Diamond by Fresno State on May 3, 2014 in her honor.[3]

Team USA[edit]

Wright served as an assistant coach on the United States women's softball team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.[6] She was the head coach of the United States women's national softball team that won a gold medal at the 1998 International Softball Federation Women's World Championship.[12]

Youth softball[edit]

After leaving Fresno State, Wright became Director of Player Development for the Wheatland Spikes, a premier youth fastpitch softball program located in Aurora, Illinois.[13]

Hall of fame inductions[edit]

Wright was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.[6] In 2001, she became the third softball individual to be inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in New York. The International Women's Sports Hall of Fame was established by Billie Jean King in 1974 and honors individuals who have achieved outstanding success in athletics and had a significant impact on women's sports. On learning of her induction to the international hall, Wright said, "What I think is so special about this honor is it's not so much about the records and championships, but how someone has affected others through sports. It's an extremely prestigious award, and I'm very humble to receive [it]. It goes to all those athletes who've made life worthwhile."[12]

Wright has also been inducted into the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame, the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame.[1][3][10]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Illinois State Redbirds (AIAW independent) (1980–1982)
1980 Illinois State 28–9–1 Midwest AIAW Fourth Place
1981 Illinois State 40–10 Midwest AIAW Fourth Place
1982 Illinois State 24–19–1 Midwest AIAW Fourth Place
Illinois State Redbirds (Gateway Conference) (1983–1985)
1983 Illinois State 16–16 4th[14]
1984 Illinois State 24–18 15–3 1st[14]
1985 Illinois State 31–18 12–4 1st[14]
Illinois State: 163–92–2
Fresno State Bulldogs (NorPac Conference) (1986)
1986 Fresno State 38–16–1 8–2 T–1st[3] NCAA Regional
Fresno State Bulldogs (Pacific Coast Athletic Association/Big West Conference) (1987–1992)
1987 Fresno State 54–16 31–5 T–1st[15] Women's College World Series
1988 Fresno State 55–7 29–5 1st[15] WCWS Runners-Up
1989 Fresno State 58–14 29–7 1st[15] WCWS Runners-Up
1990 Fresno State 62–15 29–7 1st[15] WCWS Runners-Up
1991 Fresno State 57–11 31–5 1st[15] Women's College World Series
1992 Fresno State 52–16 26–10 1st[15] Women's College World Series
Fresno State Bulldogs (Western Athletic Conference) (1993–2012)
1993 Fresno State 38–24 14–10 3rd[16]
1994 Fresno State 49–16 21–5 3rd[16] Women's College World Series
1995 Fresno State 50–19 18–8 3rd[16] NCAA Regionals
1996 Fresno State 51–11 24–2 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
1997 Fresno State 55–14 23–9 2nd[16] WCWS Semifinals
1998 Fresno State 52–11 28–2 1st[16] WCWS Champions
1999 Fresno State 65–10 24–0 1st[16] Women's College World Series
2000 Fresno State 54–14 16–2 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2001 Fresno State 39–19 13–3 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2002 Fresno State 50–20 18–6 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2003 Fresno State 36–22 14–4 2nd[16] NCAA Regionals
2004 Fresno State 48–20 20–4 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2005 Fresno State 43–12 17–1 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2006 Fresno State 37–19 12–3 1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2007 Fresno State 47–18 15–3 2nd[16] NCAA Regionals
2008 Fresno State 54–13 14–3 2nd[16] NCAA Regionals
2009 Fresno State 38–20 15–5 T–1st[16] NCAA Regionals
2010 Fresno State 41–21 15–6 2nd[16] NCAA Regionals
2011 Fresno State 35–19 15–6 2nd[16] NCAA Regionals
2012 Fresno State 36–23 13–6 3rd[16]
Fresno State: 1,294–450–1
Total: 1,457–542–3

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bob Fallstrom (2009-01-06). "Coach Margie Wright has the winning touch when it comes to softball". Herald-Review.
  2. ^ "Margie Wright". Illinois State University. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Margie Wright profile". Fresno State Athletics. February 4, 2014. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Plummer, William; Floyd, Larry C. (2013). A Series Of Their Own: History Of The Women's College World Series. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States: Turnkey Communications Inc. ISBN 978-0-9893007-0-4.
  5. ^ "NCAA Statistics: Margie Wright". NCAA. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "NFCA Hall Of Fame - 2000: Margie Wright". NFCA Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  7. ^ a b "Margie Wright becomes the NCAA All-Time Winningest Coach: Wright is the second winningest coach in the NCAA in all sports". Fresno State University. 2008-07-02. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Orozco, Ron (March 24, 2000). "Bulldogs' sweep lifts Wright to top". Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on May 10, 2000. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  9. ^ "Morgan Melloh Tosses First Career No-hitter". KSEE 24. July 30, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame | Home". Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame | Home. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  11. ^ Eddie Timanus (2000-05-09). "Winning is norm at Fresno State". USA Today. p. 16.C.
  12. ^ a b Anteola, Bryant-Jon (2005-10-18). "Fresno's Wright joins elite Hall of Fame". The Fresno Bee. p. A1.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Yearly Standings" (PDF). Big West Conference Softball Records. Big West Conference. July 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "WAC all-time standings" (PDF). 2013 WAC Softball Media Guide. Western Athletic Conference. 2013. pp. 71–74. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 10, 2016.

External links[edit]