Wright’s philosophy is “a way of life”

Fresno State softball coach Margie Wright.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian

Entering her 27th season as head coach for the women’s softball team, Margie Wright continues to bring excellence to the program.

The coach not only owns an NCAA title (1998), but also is the all-time winningest coach in Division I softball history with a record of 1,261-429-1.

Under her leadership, Fresno State has reached the postseason 26 consecutive years. She has also guided her team to the championship game four times, three of which came consecutively between 1988-90. The three losses all came to UCLA, the only time that a championship game featured the same two teams in three consecutive years. In total, the Bulldogs have reached the College World Series 10 times under Wright.

In her inaugural season with the team, she tied for first place in the conference, which was the first of 17 titles she has won or shared in her 26 seasons with the team. She also owns three Western Athletic Conference tournament titles.

Success is something that all of Wright’s teams have become accustomed to. None of Wright’s teams have ever finished lower than third during regular-season conference play.

“I think it’s a combination of things. It’s not any one thing,” Wright said. “We get really good blue-collar athletes that like to work hard and that’s always been my philosophy, my style and the philosophy of Fresno State softball.”

Before coming to Fresno State Wright spent six seasons coaching Illinois State, taking it to an overall record 163-92-2.

Wright is heavily involved in getting softball on the international stage. She was the first softball coach to represent the United States Information Agency (USIA) in Czechoslovakia in August of 1989.  She also coached the USA Junior National Team in 1995 to a world title. Wright was named the assistant coach to the 1996 USA Olympic team, where the team won gold. In 1998, she guided the USA National team to an ISF World Championship as head coach.

She has coached 53 All-Americans, 16 Academic All-Americans and eight professional players, two of which were drafted in as the first overall pick and 15 Olympians.

Wright was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000, the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, as well as both the Illinois Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame and the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

“My philosophy is very much a philosophy for life,” said Wright. “If you can learn some of the real important things out here as a competitor and how we do things and why going to school is important, why being a good teammate is important if you’re able to do those things you’re pretty much prepared for life.”

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