March 25, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The California State University Board of Trustees Committee on Institutional Advancement voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Fresno State's proposal to rename the university's softball stadium Margie Wright Diamond in honor of the NCAA's all-time winningest Division I softball coach.
Wright, who led Fresno State to its first-ever team national championship in 1998, was a driving force behind the construction of the 3,288-seat Bulldog Diamond in 1996. Wright spoke at the committee meeting and posed for photos with CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
"Margie Wright is a trailblazer and one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of Fresno State," said University President Joseph I. Castro. "She mentored hundreds of student-athletes during her career, and many became leaders throughout the Central Valley and beyond. The renaming of Bulldog Diamond to Margie Wright Diamond is a well-deserved tribute to her extraordinary service at Fresno State."
Wright retired in 2012 after amassing 1,294 wins in 27 seasons with the Bulldogs, including 10 Women's College World Series appearances and 17 conference titles.
Wright's resume also includes a stint as U.S. Olympic coach and National Coach of the Year honors. Under her direction, Fresno State was ranked in the national top 25 polls for 27 consecutive years while the Red Wave fan base led the nation in average attendance 13 times.
Off the field, Wright's passions included advocating for the Central California Blood Bank and the Marjaree Mason Center, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. After retiring from Fresno State, Wright returned to her home state of Illinois, where she remains a highly sought softball clinician and motivational speaker.
This week, the Bulldog softball team (16-12, 1-2) hosts first-year MW member Utah State (13-14, 3-0) for a three-game set on Friday-Sunday, March 28-31.
Fans can get free admission to Friday's 6 p.m. game with an on-site book donation for the First 5 Book Drive, as will youth wearing their jerseys on Youth Jersey Friday.
The Central California Blood Mobile will be taking blood donations on-site before the Saturday 6 p.m. contest, and the Susan G. Komen Central Valley organization will have an info table at the game.
For the Salute to Sunday noon finale, free admission is available to active military or veterans with a valid military ID, and youth can get Bulldog Freshmen autograph cards signed post-game and run the bases.
Fans should look for special Strike Out Cancer t-shirts giveaways at all three games, and book donations will also be accepted on Saturday and Sunday (although free admission applies only to Friday).
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