Margie Wright officially announces retirement

FRESNO, Calif.

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Wright has been with the school for 27 years, and won more games than any other softball coach in NC-AA division one history.

Margie Wright led the Bulldogs to 10 College World Series, and brought home the school's first team National Championship title back in 1998.

While she of course will be remembered for her wins, some of her other accomplishments include making sure her players graduated, and advocating for Title Nine.

When asked what she wants her legacy to be, longtime Fresno State softball coach, Margie Wright had this to say: "Everything I did, I did with integrity and a lot of passion and was willing to fight for whatever I thought was right."

Under Wright's direction, the Bulldogs won nearly 1300-games and appeared in every NC-AA tournament championship. But, the road to winning hasn't come without challenges along the way.

Wright, a longtime title nine advocate accused the University of gender discrimination. While she never filed a lawsuit, her complaint was settled for more than $600 thousand in 2008.

"No progress is made unless someone stands up for equity and for fairness."

Former Athletic Department employee, Diane Milutinovich made similar claims as Wright did, and wound up winning a seven figure settlement after suing Fresno State for wrongful termination. She says their united fight will provide a promising future for not just softball players, but female athletes in every sport.

Diane Milutinovich said, "Everyone who comes after Margie will benefit and her student athletes certainly benefitted."

Among the benefits: more emphasis on athlete education, and Bulldog Diamond, the first of its kind softball field in the country.

Matt Lievre has been the P-A announcer here for seventeen years.

Matt Lievre said, "Coach Wright had a lot to do with that getting built and the red wave is very supportive of her."

And she, of them.

In addition to her staff and players, Wright credits the fans for keeping her going over the past 27 years.

Adding: retiring is one of the hardest decisions she's ever had to make.

"The only regret I have is that I love this team and that part is really hard."

The coaching position will be posted this week, and filled by July first.

As for Wright, she plans to move back to her native Illinois, and work as a consultant for other college softball programs.

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Fresno State President John Welty issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

"Margie Wright has shared her passion for excellence with hundreds of student-athletes, inspiring them to be achievers in the classroom and on the diamond. Her legacy includes Olympic medal winners, All-Americans and former players who have followed her into coaching. Margie's community connection has brought thousands of people to campus. She has been a steadfast advocate for expanding and improving athletics for women. Margie Wright has built a solid foundation for Fresno State softball and it's difficult to imagine her not being in the dugout with her players. We thank her for 27 outstanding years of coaching Bulldog softball."

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