Michigan’s Carol Hutchins retires as NCAA’s winningest softball coach

Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins, the NCAA’s all-time leader in career wins, announced her retirement Wednesday.

She steps down with a record of 1,707-555-5. Hutchins never had a losing season and led the Wolverines to 12 Women’s College World Series, winning the program’s first championship in 2005.

Hutchins, 65, graduated from Michigan State and coached first at Ferris State for one season before joining Michigan as an assistant in 1983. She became the head coach two years later.

She helped the team to 22 Big Ten regular-season titles and was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

Citing her work on the diamond and off it, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel called Hutchins a “legend.”

In a statement, Hutchins said she would “forever bleed blue.”

“I am most thankful for the relationships that this sport has given me,” she said. “I want to express my respect for and admiration to all of my coaching colleagues and rivals, as the competition has made softball one of the greatest sports in college athletics. I thank everyone who has ever served in a support role for Michigan softball, from our athletic trainers and strength coaches to academic counselors, equipment managers, field crew, and the list goes on. They have contributed greatly to our success, and their commitment is so appreciated. I especially want to thank the staffs that served Michigan with me over many years but in particular my longtime assistant coaches Jennifer Brundage and Bonnie Tholl, whose loyalty and commitment is unparalleled. I am forever indebted to and share all success with them.”

Wednesday’s announcement did not name Hutchins’ replacement.