In her 32 years as Cal softball’s head coach, Diane Ninemire worked tirelessly to capture what many thought unattainable — the Bears’ first and only NCAA championship. As of Tuesday, she has stepped down from the helm, citing her health as the reason for the change.
“I’m stepping down because of health reasons that are preventing me from being able to do the job at the level I feel our program and student-athletes deserve. I’m going to take time now to work on things that I need to do for my personal well-being,” Ninemire said in a statement to Cal Bears.
She leaves behind a star-studded legacy at Cal. Ninemire’s 1,355 wins are the most by a single coach in program history, while her efforts in the dugout bore fruit in the form of a dozen trips to the Women’s College World Series. The Bears won it all under Ninemire in 2002.
Individually, Ninemire was named national coach of the year twice and received conference coach of the year honors four times. She was responsible for the development of 20 All-Americans, 100 All-Region players, and 166 All-Pac-12 selections. Ninemire was inducted into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
There will be a celebration organized by Cal Athletics to honor Ninemire’s accomplishments for Cal softball at a later date.
Chanun Ong covers softball. Contact him at [email protected].