Margie Wright, the former Fresno State softball head coach who retired in 2012, may soon have her home stadium — Bulldog Diamond — renamed in her honor.
Fresno State athletic director Thomas Boeh issued a proposal this week to change the name of the 3,288-seat stadium to “Margie Wright Diamond,” after the softball coach who led the Bulldogs to a 1,291-448-1 record in 27 seasons including the NCAA championship in 1998.
Wright, who now lives in Illinois, was surprised to hear about the honor despite many hints from university boosters and one specific reference from former university president John Welty at her retirement ceremony.
Wright hadn’t taken those hints seriously and said she didn’t catch on to Welty’s statement because the day she retired her Bulldogs red windbreaker for a black suit, “was a tough day to walk away from everything.”
But this week, she was at a loss for words.
“It would be a tremendous honor, one that I would not take very lightly. It’s so much appreciated,” she said.
“I’m very overwhelmed by it,” she added. “I wish I could have every player’s name that every played for me there right next to mine. That was the reason I was so successful.”
The proposal was sent to the office of university president Joseph Castro, along with a sheet listing Wright’s achievements at the university and in the sport. From there, it will be passed along to the California State University board of trustees, who have the ultimate say in renaming university buildings across the 23 campuses.
Boeh couldn’t specify a timeline for when the dedication would be finalized, but is confident of the proposal because of Wright’s legacy.
“We believe that Coach Wright is deserving of this very distinctive honor,” he said.
Wright averaged 48 wins per season and made 10 appearances in the Women’s College World Series including the championship season in 1998. During Wright’s tenure, the Bulldogs played in every NCAA Tournament until her final season in 2012.
Wright retired as the NCAA’s career winningest softball coach with a record of 1,457-542-3, and ranks second all-time in NCAA wins of any sport.
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