The University of Arizona head coach and former Team USA head coach Mike Candrea will assist Coach Pizzolini in guiding Team Italy to the Women's European Championship and the Tokyo Olympics.

Coach Candrea was nominated "special advisor" for the Italian National Team, the defending European Champ, right before hosting the Women's European Championship in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region from June 27-July 3, 2021.   

Mike Candrea said: “I am very excited to work with the Italian National Team in their preparation for the European Championships and ultimately their journey to Tokyo and participation in the Olympic Games. This is a great opportunity to give back to the game that has been so good to me over the past 40 years and also pay tribute to my Italian heritage and their former National Team coach, Enrico Obletter, who passed away suddenly. Looking forward to helping and advising the excellent coaching staff that they have in place anyway I can!” 

Team Italy just flew back home after an intense training camp in Florida with friendly games against Team USA, Team Canada and Florida International University.

Photo by Dirk Steffen


Mike Candrea is the NCAA softball leader in wins. He has an outstanding career with Arizona University and Team USA: eight national titles, 23 trips to the Women’s College World Series in the last 30 seasons, 1,633 career victories, a career winning percentage of 79%, and an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in 2004 to name a few. Candrea was also inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1996. 

/ Elda Ghilardi
Cover photo courtesy of Arizona Atheltics