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Mary Littlewood

Class of 1995 

Arizona State: 1966 - 1989

Littlewood Question and Answer (Written 2009)



From the beginning of Arizona State softball in 1967 through 1989, the founder and leader was head coach Mary Littlewood. In fact, Littlewood is considered the founder of the majority of ASU women's sports since she taught physical education at the school, as well as coached basketball and volleyball before concentrating on softball. 

Under her tutelage, ASU won two national championships (1972 and 1973) and advanced to the Women's College World Series nine times. Littlewood compiled a record of 531-233 since the 1969-70 year, with winning seasons each year that she coached. Today, one of ASU's tournaments is named after her.

Besides the two national championships, Arizona State finished fourth on four occasions (1971, 1976, 1977 and 1982), seventh once (1987) and ninth twice (1978 and 1979). She coached the Sun Devils in five NCAA regionals, including four in five seasons (1984-87). in addition, the Sun Devils won three conference championships during Littlewoods's tenure and she was named the 1986 Pacific West Conference co-coach of the year. She coached six all-Americans and more than 30 all-conference players. 

A standout athlete during her collegiate career, Littlewood lettered in five sports at Miami (Ohio). She was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1995, and wrote "Women's Fastpitch Softball - The Path to the Gold," a history of women's fastpitch in the United States, in 1998. She also is in the ASU Hall of Distinction. 

Now immersed in the sport of pickleball, Littlewood has won gold medals at the Arizona Senior Olympics and The Huntsman World Senior Games. She is a noted author and clinician for the sport, and was instrumental in starting pickleball in Show Low, Arizona, and Pinetop, Arizona.