Softball UCLA is one of NCAA softball’s most renowned institutions. Below we will focus on the UCLA Bruins’ history and present-day successes to better understand what makes their team so unique.
The UCLA Bruins softball team represents UCLA in NCAA Division I softball. To date, UCLA has won more NCAA softball titles than any other institution in history, with 12 coming in the Women’s College World Series (WCWS).
The Bruins have also appeared in 29 WCWS games and won the NCAA Tournament a record 187 times. They have beaten Arizona (92-59), Washington (62-35), and Alabama (62-35) with ease (9-1).
History of Softball At UCLA
When the UCLA program was established in 1975, senior assistant athletic director Judith Holland recruited part-time coach Sharon Backus. She was “arguably one of the finest shortstops who ever played the game,” as Holland noted. Before joining UCLA, Backus worked as a physical education teacher at an Anaheim-area high school.
She continued her teaching position for the first few years of her tenure at UCLA. Backus commuted to UCLA in the afternoons after teaching in Anaheim all day.
UCLA’s women’s softball team was put on probation in December 1995 after an inquiry found that UCLA had offered more scholarships than authorized by NCAA standards. UCLA head coach Tanya Harding was the subject of an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, which forced Backus to announce her resignation in January 1997.
Backus had an 847-win, 167-loss, and three-tie record at UCLA. After retiring, she was “the most successful college softball coach in history.” It’s time for me to move on,” Backus told the media after her retirement. Because of the sickness and death of my mother in early October, I have decided to stand aside from my position as chair of the board.
Sue Enquist Era
Enquist and Backus shared the co-head coach role until the 1996 season when Sue Enquist was promoted to head coach. Sharron Backus coached Enquist’s softball team at UCLA from 1975 through 1978.
As UCLA’s first All-American softball player in 1978, she helped guide the Bruins to their first national victory. From 1980 through 1988, she served as an assistant coach under Backus. For 24 years, her batting average of.401 was the best in UCLA softball history.
Kelly Inouye-Perez has been the UCLA Bruins’ head coach since 2007, and sue Enquist was her coach as a UCLA catcher. She was selected All-PAC-10 First Team and Second Team during her first and second years, respectively.
Before undergoing shoulder surgery in 1991, she helped the Bruins win National Championships in 1989 and 1990. The following year, the Bruins were named to the second team of the Pac-10 and went on to win the national title with a season record of 54-2.
From 1994 through 2006, Perez served as a Bruins assistant coach. 3 PAC-10 titles, seven championship games, three national championships, and a National Coaching Staff of the year award were achieved during her term as an assistant coach. Stacey Nuveman, a three-time PAC-10 Player of the Year, four-time first-team All-American, and the NCAA’s all-time single-season and career home run leader, was one of her students.
Her appointment as UCLA softball coach on January 1st, 2007, made her just the third person in program history to hold that position. 32 NFCA All-American accolades, 67 All-Region awards, and 89 All-Pac-12/Pac-10 distinctions were given to her players as UCLA head coach.
She helped the institution win two national championships in 2010 and 2019. Her 600th career victory came in the 2019 national championship game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Several Bruins have gone on to compete in the Olympics and excelled. At the Olympics, the Red, White, and Blue were worn by 15 different Bruins players, with 11 of those players bringing home gold medals.
The ASA/USA Softball Hall of Fame has admitted seven former UCLA softball players into its ranks. When it comes to NCAA softball titles, UCLA’s Bruins are first among equals, and these are all the things you should know about Softball UCLA and everything related to it.